Yorkshire Street, the eastern end of Union Street, and the streets in-between make up Oldham’s independent quarter.
Already home to a number of strong independent and family-run businesses, it’s the area with the greatest potential to start to reinvigorate the town, to make it look, feel and work better.
Our vision for the Independent Quarter is to create a place with a strong identity and distinctiveness that will:
- Improve the town’s offer – with a great range of independent businesses and shops that complement the high street favourites nearby
- Attract more people to the town – increasing footfall as people choose to shop, spend their leisure time and work in Oldham
- Provide an attractive link between major developments, such as the Old Town Hall Cinema and the new Mumps Metrolink stop
At the heart of the quarter, Bow Street curves between Yorkshire Street and Union Street. Home to the gloriously named the Hark to Topper pub, and the artisan Incline Press, it contains some great spaces that link both Yorkshire Street and Union Street, including the makings of a small public square, right in the middle.
To the west, the independent quarter is anchored by the Grade II listed Old Town Hall, which is being transformed into an Odeon multiplex cinema (due to open 2016)
To the east, the iconic Old Bank Building at Mumps marks the edge of the area – alongside the new Oldham Mumps Metrolink stop, park and ride car park, and bus interchange.
To the north and south, Oldham Coliseum Theatre – home of award winning repertory productions – and Gallery Oldham – which boasts one of the most comprehensive arts and exhibitions programmes in the North West – draw cultural visitors into the independent quarter.
History of the Independent Quarter
In 1895, the independent quarter was home to over 80 independent and thriving businesses. From booksellers to baby linen dealers, cabinet makers to chemists, oyster dealers to bill post printers, from Rhodes Bank Coffee Tavern to the Radical Club and Institute.
The area was also home to many leisure and social facilities – most noticeably lots of theatres and cinemas (at least 11), plus clubs, a Billiard Hall, a Scout Headquarters, the Library and Public Baths.
Plans for the future
The birth of a new independent quarter along Yorkshire Street, Union Street and the streets in-between is just part of the wider and ambitious regeneration taking place in Oldham.
We are committed to leading by example, delivering growth and jobs through a focussed £100m capital investment programme. Our plans are built around a series of landmark regeneration projects, including:
- The conversion of our Grade II-listed Old Town Hall into a multiplex cinema and restaurant complex in a unique historic setting
- Hotel Future – the delivery of the country’s first National Hospitality Training Academy, within a 140-bed hotel and conference centre offering bars, spa and leisure facilities
- Plans for a new Coliseum Theatre and a Heritage Centre on Union Street, bringing all the town’s cultural jewels – including Gallery Oldham, the Library and Local Studies and Archives – together in one seamless arts facility
- A masterplan for the eastern gateway of town, next to the current Mumps tram stop, which will completely redefine and reinvigorate this area.