Oldham Council says cheers to the return of indoor hospitality with a new animation voiced by local youngster | Oldham Council
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Picture of Katie sat in front of computer screen showing animation
Katie Lowe
Published: Friday, 14th May 2021

Further lockdown restrictions are set to ease on Monday, allowing most indoor and remaining outdoor businesses to reopen after being forced to close.

Soft play centres, bingo halls and cinemas are all set to reopen across the borough alongside the welcome return of indoor dining and drinking.

To mark the reopening of the borough’s most beloved bars and restaurants, Oldham Council has commissioned an animation to remind residents of the latest rules so they can enjoy the new easing of restrictions safely.

Delph-based animators Periscope Studios were once again enlisted to create the short film titled ‘A Safe Night Out with Nana’ following the success of the ‘Reopening high streets safely’ animation, which to date has had almost 10,000 views.

Inspired by a year of lockdown birthdays and missed family celebrations, the short film tells the story of Katie (11), who is planning a belated 70th birthday celebration for her Nana (which was spent in lockdown).

The script was a collaboration between Oldham Council and Oldham-based script writer Cali Warham, and the voice-over was provided by Katie Lowe (11), a student of The Blue Coat School.

Katie, a member of Oldham Theatre Workshop since the age of seven, was selected from 35 Oldham youngsters aged 8-13 years who auditioned for the role. Periscope Studios modelled a 3D character which loosely resembles Katie after meeting with her to record her voice.

Katie said: “I was really excited to be picked to read the script, I hope to become an actress when I’m older and this is my first ever paid job. I love the script and how it rhymes, but it made me a little sad as it reminded me of my Nana who turned 72 in October; we couldn’t see her then as she was shielding and could only chat on FaceTime. I hope that people keep following the rules so that we can keep seeing our friends and family.”

Indoor dining is permitted from Monday 17th May, however there are several rules in place. Venues now require every adult dining to check in, either with the venue or via the NHS Test and Trace app.

Currently six people will be allowed to meet at an indoor restaurant, café or bar, or any number of people from a maximum of two households.

The 10pm curfew on restaurants, pubs and bars is now scrapped but venues must operate a table service only policy. Diners are also asked to consider social distance and wear a mask when not seated.

Cllr Arooj Shah said: “We’re delighted that residents will once again be able to enjoy indoor hospitality across Oldham. Businesses are continuing to do everything they can to ensure they are a safe place to visit, and we ask residents that they continue doing their bit by following the safety measures in place.

“Only by following the guidance can we ensure that these venues stay open, and that we can continue to enjoy long overdue catch-ups over a coffee, family celebrations and delicious meals at the many fantastic venues across the borough.”

The animation was funded by The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, set up by the European Regional Development Fund and Her Majesty's Government.

To watch the animation, visit https://youtu.be/CiEGdMW3m10 

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