Plans for £24m theatre submitted after Oldham Coliseum closure

Plans have been submitted for a new home for the Oldham Coliseum five months after it shut its doors.

The Victorian theatre closed in March after losing all its funding from Arts Council England despite a campaign to save it backed by actress Maxine Peake.

Oldham Council aims to build a £24m theatre on Greaves Street and a new public space to stage outdoor events as part of its cultural quarter.

The council said the new space would be the "heart" of its plans.

The design for the public space on the existing garden and open space next to Oldham Library includes a square that can hold up to 150 people for a stage, complete with light and sound.

It can be made adaptable to suit activities such as outdoor arts classes and theatre performances, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

It will be surrounded by the new venue for Oldham Coliseum - the former Post Office and Quaker meeting house - and the Old Library, which is also being restored.

Oldham Coliseum theatre
Oldham Coliseum closed its doors in March

The council said the space will bring together the Cultural Quarter's three key buildings - the current Library and Gallery, the restored Old Library which is set to open in early 2025 and the new theatre, which if approved, is expected to open in 2026.

Council leader Arooj Shah said it will be a "fantastic new outdoor space for arts and culture that everyone can enjoy - right at the heart of our new Cultural Quarter".

A decision is expected to be made by the planning authority in October.

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