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Old town hall cinema in property 'Oscars'

Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine
Date online: 13 March 2017

THE renovation and transformation of Oldham's old town hall into a cinema and restaurant complex has been shortlisted for five prestigious industry awards, including Project of the Year in the 2017 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards North-West.

Known as the region's property "Oscars", the awards recognise and celebrate the innovative projects in the North-West with 42 schemes nominated this year.


The £37 million scheme saw the Grade II-listed building transformed from a once neglected and run-down shell into a hit entertainment destination for the town centre.

Oldham Council leader Jean Stretton said: "We're delighted our old town hall has been recognised and shortlisted for such prestigious awards - it is well worthy of the recognition.

"The original building dates back to 1841 and is a very important part of Oldham's proud past.

"In 2009 the old town hall was declared one of the UK's 'Top Ten Buildings at Risk' by the Victorian Society after being vacant since 1995.

"This was not good enough, so we invested to make it become a big part of our future.

"The extensive renovation works saw the finest of the surviving rooms in the building restored. A new stunning glass and sandstone extension overlooks a transformed public square, creating a spectacular illuminated lightbox at night.


"Many of the cinema screens are in the original rooms and ­- with the added modern features ­- this bold contrast between the old and the new gives Oldham's town centre something truly unique. The old town hall is not just a stunning building, it's our flagship regeneration project and there is still much more to come for Oldham."

The painstaking restoration and innovative new additions by project team BDP Architects, Mace Cost Consultancy and Morgan Sindall have earned the project nominations in four categories - Building Conservation, Design through Innovation, Regeneration and Tourism & Leisure - alongside the prestigious Project of the Year title nomination.

Other Greater Manchester schemes in the running for the eight RICS Awards include a new complex of 12 quirky business units known as The Foundry in Salford, the University of Salford's new Multi Faith Centre and a regeneration project known as 'Creating a new Pendleton' ­- the first phase involved a £75 million refurbishment of nine high rise blocks, low rise apartments and houses.

Winners will be announced on May 19 at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool with all regional winners competing at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in October.


£40 million pounds, plus the interest on loans, and although the conversion and the work done might be to a high standard it is only the test of time which will tell if this is a commercial success or not.
If past performance is anything to go by however, there isn't a single success this council has presided over.

I'm not a cinema goer and have therefore not been inside but nonetheless, it's good to see this magnificent old building brought back into use and I've heard only good things about it from people who have been inside.
As Flake says, it's too early to know whether the project will be a commercial success in the long term but fingers crossed, and in spite of some other regeneration projects not working out, let's hope there is indeed "still much more to come for Oldham".

it looks like a cruise ship has run into the town hall.
My opinion.

Where do we get a £37 million price tag from? According to Oldham Council's records as of Jan 2017 it stands at £39.2 million plus loan interest. Not bad for a scheme announced in 2012 with a £10 million cost projection.

Wow we have another award. We got an award for the bus station and what an abortion that is. Well OMBC if you correct all the problems caused by your neglect of our roads and lanes without more borrowing that is, I will personally give you an award. Awards do not pay off the massive debt you are running up. But there again it will boost your inflated ego's and you can go even deeper into your trance. and borrow more money and eat into the towns reserves for your next Daft scheme.

stunning,both inside and out, looking Foreward to a bit of sunshine, And a nice meal and drink on a fine Saturday afternoon. Well done Oldham council ten out of ten

So many people with nothing good to say. I for one think it's an amazing project and well deserves to be nominated.


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