Town hall revamp revealed

Reporter: Andrew Rudkin
Date published: 30 May 2012

Council leader’s pledge as cinema plans go on show

BLOCKBUSTER plans have been revealed to transform Oldham’s old town hall into a cinema-led leisure complex.

And Oldham Council leader Councillor Jim McMahon pledged: “This really will happen.”

An innovative vision for the Grade II-listed building was showcased to the public yesterday inside the landmark building, which which could one day house eight screens, shops, cafes and a restaurant.

Councillor Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, announced the money for the development is in place and hopes the historic structure will become a “catalyst” for the area.

He pledged: “This will happen.”

Councillor McMahon told the Chronicle: “We don’t want a town centre that just looks like any other town centre. This is about Oldham trying to rediscover itself.”

Visitor views
Geoff Gee (75), a former policeman who worked in the old Oldham Borough Police Station - based in the town hall - was impressed by the plans.

The Saddleworth resident said: “Oldham is a town of moaners and groaners. Oldham is a rundown town at the moment, but let’s bring it to light. If this structure goes ahead, I feel it will be great. When you see plans like this and meet people with a go-ahead mentality, it’s exciting.”

Alt resident Dot Hamilton said: “It’s a shame to see how the old town hall went so far downhill.

“This is probably one of the only ways to develop the building in 2012.”

Steven Ferguson, of Derker, added: “This all looks promising: I really hope it actually happens.”

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