Old Town Hall
New ODEON cinema will deliver an economic boost
The conversion of the Old Town Hall into an ODEON cinema is set to deliver a major economic boost for the town centre in the shape of new jobs, spending and visitors.
In January 2015, a report outlined how transforming the venue into an 800-seat seven-screen venue will see the creation of 74 full time and 159 part time jobs, plus the generation of an extra £5.5 million for the local economy each year.
It is estimated transforming the Grade-II listed building into a family entertainment venue will also bring in an extra 214,000 visits to the town centre annually.
This landmark development is set to open in 2016, restoring the building as a civic ‘jewel’ in a scheme that will re-use and extend it to include plus six restaurants and a branded café franchise.
The finished designs will capitalise on the Old Town Hall’s town centre location – sympathetically conserving as much of the existing building as possible whilst also adding a modern glazed ‘light box’ extension.
There will also be the first new high-quality public space in decades – Parliament Square - next to the venue in Clegg Street, which will become the frontage to the new restaurants with external seating areas and play host to arts and cultural events.
The Old Town Hall was built in 1841 but ceased to be operational as a public building in the 1990s.
Major restaurant deals announced
The council and its agents have been talking to a range of potential operators about becoming tenants and have agreed 'heads of terms' deals that would see Nando's and Gourmet Burger Kitchen joining Costa as the first tenants, subject to completion of legal agreements.
Nando's is a hugely-popular international chain best known as the home of legendary flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken. First opening in the UK in 1992, the restaurant group now has more than 350 restaurants.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), established in 2001, has more than 70 restaurants across the UK, and a fast-growing profile. The company specialises in "gourmet burgers" and its outlets serve up a variety of crafted burgers.
Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: "We've been having talks at a senior level with potential restaurant operators for several months and these are exciting times now for this development."
"We've always been very clear from the outset about the calibre and type of operator we wanted for the Old Town Hall.
"This is a development that will make a big statement about the new Oldham. It is our flagship regeneration scheme and that's why we only want great quality, popular, trusted and sought-after brands. Both Nando's and Gourmet Burger Kitchen clearly fit that bill.
"Bringing exciting new dining options to the town centre like this will complement the cinema development, our Independent Quarter and our retail and leisure offer. Above all it will make for a great family experience and choice.
"Operators like these represent another big step forward in Oldham's regeneration. Interest remains extremely strong in the other units and talks are ongoing with potential tenants with more announcements set to come in the summer."
Barry Roberts, North West area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “The Old Town Hall development will provide a real boost to the local economy and significantly improve the town’s leisure offering, so it’s great to see such high-profile, high-calibre brands signing up to be part of the scheme.
“We are working to a strict schedule and taking every care to preserve many of the Old Town Hall’s beautiful period details.
“We are privileged to be playing a part in a project that is so important to Oldham’s community and we look forward to handing over a fantastic development later this year.”
The Old Town Hall at Parliament Square
In the heart of Oldham’s retail core, the Old Town Hall is being developed into a modern multiplex ODEON cinema.
See inside the Old Town Hall!
A new 360 degree photographic project - an extension of Google Streetview - allows you to take a virtual tour and highlights how the borough is changing and what facilities and services are on offer.
See inside (opens in a new window)
Time lapse images of the Old Town Hall development