Oldham’s new Coliseum gets green light

ACE agrees £7m grant for theatre plan


Oldham is to have a new Coliseum Theatre, thanks to a major £7.1 million grant from Arts Council England.  

The new theatre, which will include a 550-seat main auditorium and a 170-seat studio theatre will be part of the town’s new Cultural Quarter. It will connect the Coliseum Theatre with a new heritage and arts centre linked with Oldham art gallery, library and lifelong learning centre.   

Oldham Council plans to deliver the elements of the new cultural quarter  over the next ten years. 

Cllr Jean Stretton, Oldham Council leader, said: "Arts, culture and heritage matter. They can inspire education across all ages and communities, boost the local economy, and attract tourism   

"Oldham Coliseum Theatre is a hugely-respected institution in the borough, and beyond. It's a major cultural asset that also delivers lots of important educational work. This relocation will widen its profile and ensure it has a bright future as part of our wider regeneration plans. 

"You can see with developments like the Old Town Hall and others that we are working to transform our town centre into one that gives our residents greater pride in better facilities and preserved heritage - and will also attract a new type of visitor with a great arts, culture and leisure offer."

Kevin Shaw, Oldham Coliseum’s artistic director and chief executive, said it’s the second time the theatre has moved since it was opened in 1885. "We are indebted to the vision of Oldham Council that places a real value on arts and culture for the borough, and for the support of Arts Council England in investing in that vision.”

Alison Clark, Director North, Arts Council England said: “Our capital programme is intended to ensure that artistic activity is embedded in the heart of infrastructural development and this is an great example of how a regeneration programme can demonstrate that the arts are critical to the growth of healthy communities.” 

Construction work is anticipated to start in April 2018 with the venue set to open in 2020. 




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