Prudential Building Published: Thursday, 14th July 2022

Oldham Council has issued a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to save the derelict Prudential Assurance Building in the town centre. 

The Grade II listed building has been named by the Victorian Society as one of the most endangered buildings in the UK. 

Now, the council has taken legal action to acquire the Union Street building from its private owner in order to carry out much-needed restoration and bring it back into use as a business incubation hub. 

Oldham Council Leader Amanda Chadderton said: “The Prudential building is a landmark in Oldham town centre but sadly it has been left to rot. 

“We share the concerns of residents and heritage experts and are committed to protecting this important building for future generations. 

“It has been largely unused for the past 12 years. Despite efforts to engage with the owner, it continues to fall further into disrepair, posing a danger to the public and becoming a target for anti-social behaviour. 

“We will not sit by and watch this happen. The CPO will give us the powers to take action and give the Prudential building a brilliant new future.” 

Prudential Building inside

 

Following continued efforts to engage with the owner to safeguard the building, including serving an urgent repairs notice earlier this year, the Prudential remains dilapidated. The council has now issued the CPO and a decision will be made in the coming months by the Secretary of State. 

The Prudential building, built in 1889, was designed by one of the Victorian period’s greatest architects, Alfred Waterhouse, whose other buildings include the Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall. 

Prudential Building inside

 

At the heart of Oldham town centre’s conservation area, the council will bring the building back into use while preserving its historic character. 

We have secured Future High Street Funding to support our proposals to transform the building into a business incubation hub.  

Cllr Chadderton added: “The hub will be focused primarily on the creative, digital, and media sectors. It will provide a high quality, flexible, low-cost space for small businesses in a beautiful building. 

“The hub will complement the co-working space we are creating as part of the Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre redevelopment, giving businesses that use the co-working space a more permanent base to expand. 

“Oldham has been named as one of the most entrepreneurial towns in the UK and we are proud to be creating new opportunities for young and innovative businesses to start-up, grow and thrive.” 

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