EXCITING plans to launch a food hall in the heart of Oldham town centre are now at an advanced stage – with the Egyptian Room venue expected to open later this year.
Planning approval for the redevelopment in the Old Town Hall has been granted and refurbishment work is due to start in June.
It means the new venue, which will feature independent food and drink stalls, could be open in time for Christmas 2021.
Cllr Sean Fielding, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “The Egyptian Room will be another fantastic addition to Oldham town centre and will sit perfectly alongside our redeveloped Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre and Tommyfield Market.
“It’s great news and something else for us to look forward to. With many businesses soon set to reopen and lots of exciting new additions coming to the town centre, there’s a real buzz about Oldham and the future is looking bright.”
Oldham Council is in discussions to appoint an experienced single operator to run the food court.
Once complete, the venue will feature six casual dining-style food and drink concessions and a central dining space.
Catering for around 200 people, it will offer both indoor and outdoor seating including a large covered al-fresco dining area on Parliament Square.
The council has submitted a £10.7 million bid to the Government’s Future High Street Fund to support the delivery of the redevelopment and other town centre regeneration projects including public realm improvements and the creation of a digital start-up hub.
Cllr Fielding added: “The refurbishment of the Egyptian Room as a food hall is an integral part of our Creating a Better Place regeneration strategy and will further enhance the Parliament Square area.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for all of us but particularly local businesses – so as they start to reopen, please support them as much as you can.
“We will continue to do our bit by investing in Oldham and creating opportunities for jobs, business and growth and ensure our borough is a great place to live, work and visit.”
Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester Night-Time Economy Adviser, said: “It’s clear Oldham has a strong vision to create a thriving town centre which offers something for everyone at all times of the day.
“It’s brilliant to see this ambition starting to take shape at time when jobs, opportunities and support for the hospitality industry is so desperately needed.
“I look forward to seeing the Egyptian Room come to life and Oldham going from strength to strength.”