Library of Birmingham architects to create Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre

By Culture24 Reporter | 26 November 2013

Mecanoo appointed in "cultural gateway" to unite Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre in Oldham

Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund are backing a project which will unite two of Oldham's cultural 'jewels'
A new Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre, aimed at attracting “a new kind of visitor” to Oldham in a scheme which will also refurbish the town’s former Grade II-listed Library and Art Gallery building, will be carried out by the architects behind the impressive new Library of Birmingham.

Oldham Council said Mecanoo, who will create two auditoria of 600 and 250 seats alongside public research rooms and meeting spaces in the centre of the town, would offer an “outstanding quality” of architecture, committing to local firms in a project hoping to provide hundreds of new jobs.

“Mecanoo has a proven track record in designing eye-catching buildings,” said Jim McMahon, the Leader of Oldham Council.

“I’m sure they will produce designs that reflect our proud past but also look forward to the future.

“The appointment is a huge step in realising our vision.

“You can see Oldham Council is deadly serious about providing facilities that attract a new kind of visitor here – and inspire a greater sense of pride in our town centre.”

Councillor McMahon said the buildings would complement designs on making the Old Town Hall a cinema complex accompanied by restaurants and cafes.

Kevin Shaw, the Artistic Director of the Coliseum, praised the architect’s “enviable international reputation”.

“The New Coliseum and Heritage Centre gives the opportunity to enhance and develop our programme of work made in Oldham for Oldham, ensuring that we can continue to produce the highest quality theatre in the town for many years to come,” he said.

Stephen Levrant, a heritage architect who worked on Manchester’s Victoria railway station, will act as a special advisor on the project.

Construction is expected to begin in 2016.

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