Big screen campaign

Date published: 02 February 2009

Sign-up to bring cinema to the biggest town in UK without one

AN online petition has been launched to get a cinema for Oldham and create hundreds of jobs.

Oldham is the largest town in Britain without the big screen and the Conservatives hope their campaign will bring a commercial cinema complex to the borough.

Locals have long bemoaned a lack of entertainment venues in the town for those not interested in drinking or dining out.

Oldham East and Saddleworth Conservatives believe their Cinema For Oldham campaign could also attract restaurants, bars and a bowling alley to create hundreds of new jobs and contribute to the area’s economic regeneration.

Resident and campaigner Kashif Ali, who came up with the idea, said: “Why is Oldham the largest town in Britain without a commercial cinema complex?

“Why should Oldham’s residents have to go to Rochdale, Ashton or Manchester to watch a film?

“I encourage everyone to sign our online petition at or get in touch to have your name added.”

The Tories will spend the next few months promoting the drive with the aim of presenting their petition as soon as possible.

They say the more residents who sign it, the more chance a commercial provider will agree to build a cinema, particularly in the current difficult economic climate.

Councillor Jack Hulme, leader of the Conservative on Oldham Council said: “We are the only party thinking outside the box and presenting creative and realistic solutions to bring new jobs to Oldham.

“We will do everything in our power to persuade Oldham Council to support such a development.”

And Tory councillor John Hudson added: “This is a fantastic idea. As well as new jobs, a cinema will give young people something to do, provide activities for families, show Bollywood and other international films for ethnic communities, and allow more convenient access to entertainment for those who don’t drive.”

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