Maxine Peake leads the fight for theater at the Oldham Coliseum

Ms. Maxine Peake

As advocates fought to save it, actress Maxine Peake referred to a historic theater that was in danger of closing as a "vital institution.".

Following the loss of all Arts Council England (ACE) funding, Oldham Coliseum will close its doors the following month.

The celebrity declared: "If we can keep it alive, it will have an amazing future" prior to a public gathering at the location. " .

The building was deemed unfit for use by Oldham Council, which also unveiled plans for a new £24 million theater.

Numerous TV soap opera stars have received their start at The Coliseum, which has a 135-year history, including Coronation Street's Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden), Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan), William Roache (Ken Barlow), and Anne Kirkbride (Deirdre Barlow).

It was the largest theater outside of London to lose its £600,000 ACE subsidy as a result of a restructuring that was announced in November.

Oldham Coliseum theatre
On March 31, the theater may shut its doors for good.

The Bafta-nominated actress told BBC North West Tonight that the theater was the "heart" of the town and the community prior to a public meeting held by the performing arts and entertainment trade union, Equity.

"Places like Oldham Coliseum bring people together," said Peake, a TV actor who has appeared in shows like dinnerladies, Silk, and Shameless. The outreach work they carry out is more important than just the entertainment.

It is such a vital, lively institution with an amazing history, but if we can keep it going, I think it will have an even more amazing future. ".

The venue announced that it had begun a period of consultation with all of its employees and that it would close on March 31 because the current financial situation was "not sustainable for the running of a full-time theatre.".

Image of plans for a new theatre in Oldham
Oldham's new £24 million theater has debuted its first images.
Image of plans for a new theatre in Oldham
The new theater is anticipated to be finished by 2026.

The Coliseum building is unfit for purpose, according to Amanda Chadderton, the Labour leader of Oldham Council.

The walls are collapsing, there is an abundance of asbestos throughout, and there are numerous other issues, according to a recent survey we conducted, she said.

The first renderings of the new Union Street theater's plans have just been made public, and the council will formally accept £1 point 845 million from ACE on Monday to support cultural activities in the borough over the next three years as the theater is being built.

According to the authority, a planning application would be made by the summer, and construction would be finished by 2026.

Plans call for a studio with just 120 seats and an auditorium that can accommodate 300 to 350 people.

"It's great to see such a positive step forward for the future of arts and culture here in Oldham," Ms. Chadderton said. "After the really sad news from the Coliseum in recent weeks. ".

In addition to revitalizing our cultural offering, creating jobs, and enhancing the ambiance of a bustling town center, she claimed that it would "offer performers, staff, and audiences a great experience."

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