£36m town hall re­vamp set to cre­ate 230 jobs

Oldham Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

MORE than 230 jobs will be cre­ated by the ren­o­va­tion of the Old Town Hall

e fig­ure was re­vealed as the coun­cil’s cab­i­net dis­cussed the fi­nances be­hind the £36m re­gen­er­a­tion project.

The Grade II-listed build­ing is be­ing turned into an 800-seat, sev­en­screen Odeon cin­ema, restau­rant and shop­ping com­plex.

The de­vel­op­ment will in­clude a glass ex­ten­sion to the derelict build­ing with views over a new look Par­lia­ment Square.

The re­port, put be­fore cab­i­net on Mon­day, es­ti­mates that the de­vel­op­ment will cre­ate 74 full time and 159 part time posts. It will also gen­er­ate an ex­tra £5.5m for the lo­cal econ­omy each year.

Coun­cil leader, Coun­cil­lor Jim McMa­hon said there will be 214,000 ex­tra vis­its to the town cen­tre an­nu­ally, which will gen­er­ate an es­ti­mated £2.4m.

He added: “When Old­ham was at its in­dus­trial peak the Old Town Hall was a state­ment of civic pride. How­ever, in re­cent years it be­came a sym­bol of de­cline and a very seri- ous fi­nan­cial li­a­bil­ity. We know this build­ing is hugely im­por­tant to lo­cal peo­ple and also to the fu­ture prospects of Old­ham town cen­tre’s econ­omy.”

The to­tal project cost is £36.72m which will be funded from a range of sources.

The coun­cil is mak­ing a di­rect con­tri­bu­tion of £26.3m, £16m of which will come from cap­i­tal pro­gramme fund­ing.

A con­tri­bu­tion of £10m will be pumped into the scheme from its re­serves and the use of a one-off Manch­ester Air­port divi- dend of £1m will also be used.

The coun­cil said it will bor­row £6.9m which will be re­paid through in­come from the project.

Ad­di­tional con­tri­bu­tions worth £2.5m will come from the Greater Manch­ester Com­bined Au­thor­ity. Coun McMa­hon added: “The re­port high­lights that with­out this project Old­ham coun­cil would still face sig­nif­i­cant costs of £16.16m over the next 25 years – just to main­tain the Old Town Hall but with­out it hav­ing an end use or oc­cu­pier. We strongly be­lieve Old­ham town cen­tre can be the best in north east Manch­ester, but you can’t achieve that if your key town cen­tre build­ing – our Old Town Hall with all its promi­nence and his­tory – stays va­cant and di­lap­i­dated.”

The Old Town Hall was built in 1841 but closed as a pub­lic build­ing in the 1990s. Work started on site in Oc­to­ber 2013 and it is due to open in 2016.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.