PSquare1Oldham Town Centre is to get its first new high-quality public space in decades. Oldham Council is today releasing early new artists’ impressions of the plans which it is taking to market alongside a set of restaurant letting opportunities.

The six new restaurant units will be located within the flagship regeneration project to transform the Old Town Hall into an 800-seat, seven screen ODEON cinema. A glass extension to the side of the Grade II-listed building will provide access to the various levels of the cinema and will also become the frontage to the new restaurants. The five ground floor and one first floor restaurant will enjoy external seating areas plus excellent views across this new public space – to be known as Parliament Square.

Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “We’re keen to link the history of Oldham to the future we are working hard to create. We researched old maps and discovered the street running under what was the TJ Hughes store was called Parliament Street. To mark that link with the past the new square will be called Parliament Square and it will be an important part of our plans for Oldham Town Centre.

“We know how important good public spaces are to having a well-linked, vibrant and successful town centre and this location (formerly Clegg Street) is vital because it straddles both our retail shopping heart and our new Independent Quarter. These artists’ impressions are only illustrative at this stage but they signal our ambition and vision here to create a stunning public square. We want this to be a buzzing new environment where folk and families from all walks of life can eat and socialise, enjoy arts and cultural events and attractions like specialist markets. It is something that Oldham has lacked for too long.”

Parliament Street was first shown on a map in 1824 and now lies beneath the former TJ Hughes store. Parliament Square reflects that historical fact and also – in another nod to Oldham’s heritage – that a group of owls is known as a ‘parliament’.

Councillor McMahon said: “Last year we asked the public for their views about what kind of public art should accompany our regeneration plans.” You told us you wanted a better street environment with seating, planters and event spaces – plus public art reflecting our heritage as a borough – and we have listened. We believe this scheme will renew how Oldham Town Centre looks and feels, and provide a fantastic new civic focal point.

“Although these designs are only illustrative at this stage, we promise this will be a high-quality development that continues our clear commitment to using history in building our future.”

Tushingham Moore has been appointed as letting agents on this project.

For more information call Tushingham Moore on 0161 833 1197 or contact Suzanne Hilditch by email to shilditch@tushinghammoore.co.uk or Dan Davies at ddavies@tushinghammoore.co.uk

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