'Seeing double' - Oldham Lib-Dem leader shares concerns that Spindles plan 'duplicates' existing provision

Date published: 02 September 2021

The Leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrats has written to a senior Council officer with his concerns that elements of the current plan to refurbish Spindles mean 'spending again on something the town already has'.

In a letter to the Director of Economy Emma Barton, Councillor Howard Sykes points out that Oldham already has a dedicated space for new creative industries and an unused food court in Create Oldham and the Egyptian Room respectively, and he is concerned that the Labour Council will be spending more public money on duplicating the same in Spindles rather than using what Oldham already has better.

Councillor Sykes said: “This is like seeing double. 

"Oldham’s Labour Council spent at least £1.5 million to refurbish an old night club on Yorkshire Street into Hack Oldham / Wayra; now Create Oldham. 

"This was established specifically to be a space from which new creative businesses could work, but it is underutilised for this purpose, so why are we not referring new businesses there rather than spending yet more of the public’s hard-earned money on creating a second hub?

“My second complaint concerns the food court. 

"Why do we need yet another food court when a fortune has been spent on refurbishing and repurposing the Egyptian Room in the old town hall development? 

"This has never been let, despite the huge expenditure.

“Why create a second Spindles food hub? 

"My worry is this represents more unnecessary spending and could affect the viability of the Egyptian Room. 

"I think we should focus on getting the Egyptian Room up and running and established before we consider a second food court for Spindles.”

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