A £27 million project to relocate a historic Victorian theatre The Coliseum in Oldham has been scrapped.

In a statement Oldham Council cited budgetary issues as the reason behind the decision.

As part of the plans to improve the town centre’s cultural offer, talks have been ongoing with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Arts Council England about the original plans for a new-build theatre on Southgate Street.Cabinet will now be asked to approve feasibility work on a range of alternative options to reflect changing requirements.

The leader of oldhm Council Sean Fielding said: “In the current financial climate we’ve got to spend our funds wisely and that means reviewing our works and costs to ensure we get the best value for money for the taxpayers’ of the town.

“A lot has changed since the idea was first discussed six years ago, including the costs involved, so at this stage we are not going to continue with the current proposals to build a new Coliseum on the Southgate Street site.

“However, we’d like to make this clear – the council and our partners at Oldham Coliseum and Arts Council England remain fully committed to providing a high quality performance space in the town centre, which is relevant, sustainable, and delivers high quality theatre.

“Over the next few months we will continue to draw up plans with the Coliseum and Arts Council England for a fit for purpose facility.”

Gail Richards, Chair of Oldham Coliseum, said: “We, along with Oldham Council and Arts Council England, are passionate about securing the future of theatre in Oldham.

“We are excited to be working with our partners on further developments, so that together we continue to provide access to a range of high quality theatre, with learning and participatory activities for all, for the best possible value for money.”


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