£36m town hall revamp set to create 230 jobs
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.