Bright minds will think alike

Date published: 22 March 2016

PLANS to transform a former nightclub into a new digital enterprise hub at the heart of Oldham’s Independent Quarter have been approved by Oldham Council’s cabinet members.

Members gave the green light to repair and renovate the former Wahoo nightclub and former Kiss bar on Yorkshire Street. Wayra UK Ltd and Hack Oldham will become tenants at the new hub, a space where new enterprises and businesses can be encouraged and helped to grow across local digital, technology and creative sectors.

Approval of the plans means refurbishment works at the authority-owned premises can get started next month.

Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “This is a first for Oldham town centre and a perfect fit for the vibe we are trying to create in our Independent Quarter.

“The hub will be a focal point for entrepreneurs and creatives to get together to share ideas, innovate and unlock potential in a low-cost but good quality environment.

Hack Oldham will provide access to low-cost and flexible workspace — plus equipment geared to hosting individual entrepreneurs and Small to Medium sized Enterprises in the digital and creative sectors.

Wayra will be occupying the first and second floors of the old Wahoo bar — providing a work environment and intensive support for fledging enterprises via its established “pre-accelerator” programme. It already has a thriving London base and wants to establish a northern hub — with Oldham as the ideal location.