New £16m arts and heritage centre planned for Oldham
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New £16m arts and heritage centre planned for Oldham

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A new arts and heritage centre is planned for the Oldham in the UK that will tell the history of the town near Manchester, from its industrial past to present day.

Boasting gallery spaces, archives, public research rooms, bars and meeting spaces, the new centre will cost £16m (US$20.4m, €18m) and is part of a wider two-decade transformation plan to establish a new cultural quarter in the town.

Oldham's museum, archives, local studies and stores, which are located around the town, will be moved into one building at the facility, which will sit at the site of its former library and art gallery.

£3.4m (US$4.3m, €3.8m) worth of financing from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been approved for the project, while British businessman and philanthropist Sir Norman Stoller has donated £4m (US$5.1m, €4.5m) towards the project through his charitable trust.

A new theatre had also been planned for the cultural quarter, but those plans have been shelved for now due to rising costs.

"Culture is something that will set Oldham apart from other towns and make us a place that people want to visit," said Council leader Sean Fielding.

"The theatre is still very much part of the offer that we want to build in Oldham town centre and it’s very important. However, it was clear because of the amount of time that had passed since the original plans were drawn up - and because of the escalation in costs - we needed to think again about what we were going to do with that site."

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A new arts and heritage centre is planned for the Oldham in the UK that will tell the history of the town near Manchester, from its industrial past to present day.
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