The Coliseum Theatre in Oldham (UK), has announced it will be moving to a new state-of-the-art building, designed by Mecanoo architecten, in 2020. The new theatre is located in Oldham’s Cultural Quarter, alongside the new Heritage and Arts Centre (also designed by Mecanoo), Gallery Oldham, Library and Lifelong Learning Centre.
With a 550-seat Main Auditorium plus a 175-seat flexible Studio, the new Coliseum will be much more spacious and accessible than the current venue. The Studio will allow the theatre to build upon its recent work and support the development of upcoming artists and companies, which will run alongside the award-winning work on the Main Stage.
The new Coliseum will also be a hub for education and community work, like the Teaching Theatre programme, which provides hands-on experience to young people who are not currently in work, education or training.
According to Francesco Veenstra, partner at Mecanoo: “The design for the new Coliseum Theatre aims to provide Oldham with a platform for artistic expression – professional and amateur – that is welcoming to all. We’re very proud to contribute to the town's future cultural development.”
Kevin Shaw, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said: “The current board, staff, volunteers and audiences are all custodians of a proud tradition of theatre in the town, which in the Coliseum’s case dates back to 1885. It’s our responsibility to make a theatre that’s right for future generations, meaning in the years to come theatre in Oldham continues to thrive, grow and develop. We’re rightfully famous for the warmth of our welcome, and we will take that warmth with us, so future residents of Oldham will know that this is a theatre for absolutely everyone.”
Through Oldham Council, Oldham Coliseum Theatre has been approved a grant of £7.1 million from Arts Council England. Additional funds for the project will be secured through a future Capital fundraising contribution by the Coliseum.