Since November 2018, Oldham Council has been working with Oldham Coliseum and Arts Council England to develop a shared vision for the future of live performance in Oldham Town Centre.

This project will provide the Coliseum with a new home and a space where communities and artists can come together.

This work is being overseen by a Partnership Board chaired by Fiona Gasper, Director of Organisational Change at Manchester International Festival.

The new performance space project has been included in Oldham Council’s £41m Town Investment Plan.  It is a major part of the Council’s application to the Towns Fund which was submitted to Government on in December of last year.

We will continue to update our audiences on plans as they develop.

Meanwhile our aim is to continue our great work here in our current building.  We hope to see you here, enjoying the range of excellent theatre, learning and community activities provided by the Coliseum, very soon.

The need for a new location

The current Oldham Coliseum Theatre was built in 1887; however this building is now close to reaching the end of its natural life.  

The £2 million investment to refurbish the Fairbottom Street building in 2012 was imperative to make the building safe and more comfortable for audiences.  The central heating system was at the end of its lifespan, the interior was becoming tatty, and the building was riddled with asbestos.  This refurbishment extended the building’s lifespan by 10 years. Without refurbishment, the alternative would have been to close the building down entirely in 2012 until a new site was found – this would have left Oldham without a professional theatre and live entertainment venue. 

The constraints of the Fairbottom Street site limit the potential for the Coliseum to grow and develop its business as well as its charitable aims, particularly work with its local community including older people, children and young people.  The relocation of the Coliseum is vital for the theatre to be able to realise its full potential and provide full benefits for the people of Oldham, Greater Manchester, and the wider North.

The Coliseum on Fairbottom Street will continue to run with a full programme of critically acclaimed, award winning theatre, learning and community activities.  You can view and book for upcoming Coliseum events here.

A building is bricks and mortar – the Coliseum’s volunteers, actors and artists, staff and audiences make its uniquely special warm atmosphere. We’re taking that with us.

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