New Vision for Oldham Town Hall
A public consultation event in Oldham town centre showcasing plans to regenerate the Old Town Hall has attracted a large amount of public interest.
Oldham Council commissioned BDP to investigate a range and mix of possible uses that could capitalise on the Grade II-listed building’s location and suitability, plus an ability to sympathetically conserve as much of the existing structure as possible.
The plans unveiled this week are a vision to restore the venue, originally built in 1841 but closed since the mid 1990s, as a civic ‘jewel’ and show how redevelopment could incorporate a new cinema, cafes and restaurants, and retail outlets.
One of the challenges in bringing the Old Town Hall back into use is its sloping site. BDP’s proposals show how building an extension onto the Clegg Street elevation could solve the problem of moving through the three-level building and between levels.
This extension, a translucent ‘Light Box’ overlooking a new pedestrian square, is a central element in the proposals and could provide a new entrance and foyers to the cinema areas. It would provide an opportunity to create a new façade towards that square and the Town Square shopping centre and provide an active and animated street environment, especially at night. The light box would sit on a stone base or plinth, which would match the stone of the existing town hall building.
Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring a fantastic building back into use and create a venue for the Borough that is very different to other out-of-town cinema developments – something we can all be proud of.