The new Oldham theatre which will replace the Coliseum in the town is set to feel "like a living room for the town" as a public consultation opens.

Details plans for the space, which will become a new home for the Coliseum theatre staff, have gone on display to the public who are invited to share their thoughts.

The £24m theatre, to be built in heritage buildings in the town centre, has been imagined through computer-generated images of architects' designs.

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The Oldham Times: The plans are featured in Gallery Oldham this weekendThe plans are featured in Gallery Oldham this weekend (Image: Oldham Council)

The proposals claim the theatre will embody the rich and diverse history and heritage of the town, its people, its streets and buildings, making it "like a living room for the town".

The space will be open from morning into the night as a "hang out spot" where friends and family can meet, eat and drink local produce while enjoying arts and culture.

The plans have been shaped so far through 'the big Oldham conversation' and with architects who have visited future generations of theatregoers, artists and entertainment professionals in Oldham's schools and colleges.

The Oldham Times: The new Garden cafe and barThe new Garden cafe and bar (Image: Oldham Council)

There is now a chance for members of the public to also give their input and feedback on the plans as a consultation opened on Tuesday (June 27) and will remain open until Monday (July 3).

The consultation includes an open event where key people from the Council and Coliseum will be available to talk about the designs at Gallery Oldham on Greaves Street between 4pm and 7pm on Monday.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “One of the very first things I did after becoming leader of the council last month was to meet with the Oldham Coliseum board.

The Oldham Times: How the theatre might look from Greaves StreetHow the theatre might look from Greaves Street (Image: Oldham Council)

“We agreed they will be tenants at the brand-new theatre we are building in Union Street – underlining our collective determination to work together for the good of theatre in the borough.

“I'm really glad we can showcase more details on our proposals for the new theatre and get feedback input on them from our communities and theatre users.

"We asked what you wanted and you told us you want a modern and accessible venue where packed audiences can enjoy a variety of performances so take a look at how they’re coming along and let us know what you think and what else it needs."

The Oldham Times: The auditorium The auditorium (Image: Oldham Council)

Cllr Shah also said the council is working "hand-in-hand" with the Coliseum, Arts Council England and other cultural partners to shape the plans and create a theatre "to be proud of".

Duncan Craig OBE, chair of trustees at Oldham Coliseum, said the board has met architects and project planners and is "excited" to see what Oldham residents and business owners say about the proposals.

He added: “There is, of course, much more to do before a new theatre, our new home, is realised but for us as a board, we think this is an exciting step in the journey.

The Oldham Times: An education and community spaceAn education and community space (Image: Oldham Council)

“I’d encourage everyone to get involved and share their thoughts and opinions and I hope to meet as many people as possible – this is your theatre", he added.

Jennifer Cleary, director north at Arts Council England, also said: “We welcome this next stage in the development of Oldham's new theatre, which will play a pivotal role in delivery of the borough’s cultural strategy and the future opportunities for young people, artists, creatives and the wider community in Oldham and beyond.

"The Arts Council remains committed to Oldham and we will continue to collaborate with and support partners in the realisation of these exciting plans.”

While the plans will be on show in Gallery Oldham over the weekend, Oldhamers can also view them online at  

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