Oldham Coliseum’s new building assured after £7.1m ACE funding boost
Oldham Coliseum will get a new home after the Arts Council agreed a multimillion-pound funding injection.
The £30 million new building, which will house two theatres for the Coliseum to stage its productions, has been granted £7.1 million by the Arts Council.
The theatres will be part of an arts centre, which will sit alongside a heritage centre that will be based in an old library building next door.
Oldham Council leader Jean Stretton said she was “delighted” the council could now “get on with our plans” for the new theatre, which she claimed was a “major cultural asset”.
She explained: “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.”
Stressing that “arts, culture and heritage matter”, Stretton went on: “They can inspire education across all ages and communities, boost the local economy and attract tourism.”
The theatre’s artistic director Kevin Shaw said he was “immensely proud” the theatre would be relocating to the new Cultural Quarter, alongside Gallery Oldham and Oldham Library.
“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,” he added.
Together with the local council, the theatre originally made a bid for £5 million in Arts Council funding last year.
Although the decision was delayed, the amount eventually granted to the project was £2.1 million higher.
Following the delay in securing funding, the new venue’s expected opening has been pushed back from 2018 to 2020.
If further planning permission is granted, construction work is expected to start in 2018.