Leaders from across the borough have vowed to rescue Oldham Coliseum after the theatre announced it had to suspend shows for the rest of 2023.

Oldham Coliseum Theatre announced on Monday, January 31, that it has been forced to cancel all of its performances from the end of March throughout 2023 after suffering a devastating funding blow from Arts Council England (ACE).

Residents, actors and actresses as well as some celebrities from across the region have since voiced their concern about the news with many calling for additional funding to 'save' the Coliseum from potential closure.

However, the theatre has not confirmed it will close.

Still, MPs from the borough and beyond have also added their names to the cause and have vowed to try and help.

Debbie Abrahams, the MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: "I know I won't be the only one devastated by the news that Oldham Coliseum is cancelling forthcoming shows from the end of March.

"The Coliseum is part of Oldham's heritage. So many amazing performers have learnt their craft there.

"With the loss of national funding this is yet another example of how the Government's endless talk about 'levelling up' is just hot air."

The MP said she is due to have a meeting with ACE next week where she says she will be "raising this terrible situation with them again".

MP for Oldham West and Royton, Jim McMahon, added he would be working with Ms Abrahams to "secure its future".

"The Oldham Coliseum is an important social and economic treasure for Oldham and beyond", he wrote.

Leader of the Council, Amanda Chadderton, further said she was also "absolutely devastated" by the news, "like most people in Oldham".

"I know how difficult it has been for everyone at the Coliseum since the start of November, when they were told they would no longer be apart of ACE's National Portfolio, and the impact that would have on their financial situation."

Councillor Chadderton touched upon Oldham's successful acting heritage, from Oldham's Sarah Lancashire in 'Happy Valley' to the current assistant in Doctor Who.

She added: "Oldham Council is committed to making sure that Oldham continues to have a thriving performing arts and cultural offer and over the coming months.

"This will include working with the Coliseum to find the best way forward for the future of theatre in Oldham."

Beyond Oldham, Lisa Nandy, the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said theatres such as Oldham Coliseum are "part of our civic inheritance" and that "this one in particular means so much to me and my family."

She continued: "Slogans like Levelling Up mean nothing when a theatre that allowed a Lancashire town to shape our national story is going dark."

Barbara Keeley, the Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles South also assured residents that she has raised the matter with ministers from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and vowed her support.