Oldham Coliseum set to close doors for good

Featured image credit: Paolo Chiabrando on Unsplash

Oldham Coliseum Theatre is set to close on March 31 after losing funding from Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

The 135-year-old venue will be cut from ACE’s National Portfolio from April 1 and since the news in November last year, the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team had been trying desperately to find a solution. 

National Portfolio funding equated to a third of the Coliseum’s income and its loss also affected the venue’s ability to apply for alternate funding. 

A statement from Oldham Coliseum said: “The financial situation therefore is not sustainable for the current continuation of the business.”

All events from 26 March onwards have been cancelled and ticket-holders have been refunded for the affected performances. Management will now move into a redundancy period and said that “staff remain our priority”. 

The statement continued: “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.

“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.”