Oldham Council is celebrating the reopening of the borough’s high streets this week, while reminding residents to continue doing their bit to “stay safe”.
Now that ‘Stage Two’ in the government’s roadmap to lifting England’s current national lockdown has commenced and a raft of venues within the Greater Manchester borough are back open for business, Oldham Council is celebrating the past, present and future of the bustling town centre with the release of a new animation.
The animation – which has been funded by the UK government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund – has not only been launched to mark the reopening of businesses, but to also call on the borough’s residents to shop local and shop safe.
Local businesses are working hard to ensure they are COVID-secrure, so that visitors can enjoy the retail and outdoor hospitality opportunities on offer in a safe way.
Inspired by Tommyfield Market trader Marc Crossley of Crossley’s Fish – who has a lifelong history of trading in the town, with the family business having been in Oldham for 31 years – Oldham Council has worked with Delph-based award-winning animation production company, Periscope Studios, to create the short film.
“It’s been a really difficult year for local businesses,” Marc admitted.
“We’ve fought incredibly hard to survive, but we feel like there’s now light at the end of the tunnel [and we can’t wait to welcome back more customers and see the town centre busy with shoppers and visitors again.
“Please support your local high street – local businesses need your custom now more than ever”.
Speaking on the launch of the animation, Jo Perry – founder of Periscope Studios – said: “As Oldham locals, we have so many memories of the borough’s shops, bars, restaurants and markets – both as children and now as parents [so] we’re delighted to be working with Oldham Council to help local high streets reopen safely by highlighting current coronavirus protocols as told from the people it matters to most – the independent businesses”.
Co-founder, Paul Perry, added: “The animation was a real labour of love for us, and one which we hope resonates with Oldham residents”.
“Like all Oldham residents, we’re excited to see high street businesses reopening following the forced closures during lockdown restrictions,” admitted Emma Barton, Director of Economy at Oldham Council.
“But we must remember that there is still a need to be vigilant as restrictions ease and to follow the current guidance”.
She continued: “Businesses are working hard to ensure they are COVID secure so that you can be confident and reassured that it’s safe to shop throughout the borough [but] residents also have a part to play by being responsible and continuing to stick to safety measures when visiting our high streets, to help keep them trading and lower the rate of infections”.
You can find more information on the reopening of Oldham and COVID safety precautions via the Oldham Council website here.
Featured Image – Jody Hartley
You can now apply to close your road for a Coronation street party in Manchester
Residents in Manchester can now apply to close off their roads for a street party to celebrate King Charles III‘s Coronation in a couple of months.
King Charles III acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, and on the day of his Coronation, will be 74 years old – making him the oldest person to be crowned monarch in British history.
The King will be coronated alongside his wife and the Queen Consort, Camilla, in a religious ceremony held at Westminster Abbey in London – which is the same place his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II‘s Coronation was held in 1953, as was her State Funeral in September of last year.
The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and is expected to be a more “simmered down” event in comparison to that of the late Queen’s Coronation.
Buckingham Palace said the Coronation will “reflect the monarch’s role today” and will “look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry” – with more details about the ceremony and celebrations on a national scale expected to be announced “in due course”.
But, on a more personal scale locally, Manchester City Council has just announced that residents in the borough can apply to close their road off so they can throw a street party.
The Council says it want residents from all over the city to “dust off the bunting and join their neighbours to celebrate the historic weekend” by hosting a traditional street party, and for those wishing to do so, if you make sure to submit an application by a certain deadline, then the road closure fee will be waived.
On top of this, Oldham Council has also announced that it applications are open for residents to apply for £100 grants to be put towards community street parties.
100 grants are available being awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Other Greater Manchester boroughs are also expected to announce celebration plans in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.
The deadline to apply to close a road in the borough of Manchester is Friday 21 April, and you can find out more information and submit an application via the Manchester City Council website here.
Featured Image – Flickr
Oldham Coliseum announces official closure with truly heartbreaking statement
Oldham Coliseum, a beloved local theatre that’s been on the brink of closure since it lost vital funding, has announced that it’s officially reached the end of the line.
The final curtain will fall on the century-old theatre at the end of this month, with all staff facing a redundancy process.
News of its difficulties became public earlier this year when the venue announced it was cancelling all shows from the end of March onwards.
The historic theatre had been dropped from Arts Council England’s National Portfolio – which made up a third of its income – from 1 April, leaving many locals in Greater Manchester and famous stars of the stage furious.
Oldham Coliseum has survived two world wars, the Covid pandemic, and all the challenges that have followed since, but has now reached a point where it’s ‘not sustainable’ to remain open.
Its heartbreaking final statement spoke of the ‘joyful memories that hundreds of thousands of people’ have made within its walls, as well as the countless careers it has helped to launch.
They wrote: “The outpouring of love for the theatre over the past weeks has been overwhelming, demonstrating the Coliseum’s impact on the communities of Oldham and further afield.
“To our audiences, industry colleagues, partners, sponsors, funders, patrons and friends – we cannot thank you enough for your support over more than a century of theatre.”
Oldham Coliseum’s final day will be on 31 March 2023. Events to mark its final hurrah are being considered and will be announced in the future.
Oldham Coliseum’s farewell statement in full
It is with deep sadness that we confirm the forthcoming closure of Oldham Coliseum Theatre and the beginning of a redundancy process that will affect all staff. Doors to the historic venue will close to the public for the final time on 31 March 2023.
Following the news on 4 November 2022 that the Coliseum will no longer be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio from 1 April 2023, the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team have been determined to find a solution to this reduction in funding. NPO funding was a third of the Coliseum’s income, and in addition, its loss affects the ability of the organisation to apply for alternate funding. The financial situation therefore is not sustainable for the current continuation of the business.
Having cancelled all events from 26 March 2023 onwards and refunded tickets for affected performances, the Coliseum entered a period of consultation with all staff on 10 February 2023. A thorough and meaningful consultation period concluded on 13 March 2023.
Our staff remain our priority as we move into the redundancy process. The Coliseum is not the historic building so many have come to adore, it is the company that runs it and the people who fill its halls with memories. In recent weeks we have also lost a beloved friend and colleague, General Manager and former Head of Production Lesley Chenery. Her passing will now forever be entwined in memory with the closure of the company.
Many of our team have lived in Oldham all their lives and worked with the company for over a decade, bringing immense benefit to the town – not just in creating and presenting great theatre – but in offering opportunity and inspiration to all of Oldham’s communities. Coliseum staff benefit from generations of knowledge and skills passed down through departments. The unique skillset of our team includes arts engagement expertise that has allowed the Coliseum to share the mental and physical health benefits created via access to the arts, exemplified in recent projects working in partnership with Oldham’s Roma and South Asian communities; and technical theatre knowledge that profits young people from across Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, including those not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) who have gained employment after taking part in our UK Theatre Award nominated Teaching Theatre Pathways programme.
We know the theatre’s closure is deeply upsetting for our audiences and participants, not least because of the joyful memories that hundreds of thousands of people from across the North West have of visiting the Coliseum to get involved in projects or to experience our home-produced plays, musicals and award-winning pantomimes.
The Coliseum has been at the heart of theatre in Oldham for over 100 years and has survived two World Wars and a global pandemic. Our theatre company has a highly regarded history in the industry dating back to the Oldham Rep, which launched the careers of many famous faces. This tradition has continued in recent years, actors from Coliseum productions of the past decade now regulars on our television screens. We would like to thank the unions Equity and BECTU for their vocal and passionate support and for highlighting the importance of producing theatre for actors and theatre workers as well as audiences and communities.
The Coliseum’s closure is supported by Arts Council England’s Transition Fund, which was applied for and granted to honour contracts with affected artists and support staff redundancy. In addition, an enhanced redundancy package has been made available for all Coliseum staff from savings derived from the UK producing theatre network, meaning those that have dedicated their lives to producing theatre reap the benefits of that work.
Over the coming weeks we will continue to present the remainder of events currently on sale up to and including Saturday 25 March. We are also considering possible opportunities to mark the closing of the Coliseum and any details of such events will be announced in due course.
The outpouring of love for the theatre over the past weeks has been overwhelming, demonstrating the Coliseum’s impact on the communities of Oldham and further afield. To our audiences, industry colleagues, partners, sponsors, funders, patrons and friends – we cannot thank you enough for your support over more than a century of theatre.