More bad news for Oldham as theatre draws curtain on future shows

Oldham Coliseum

Oldham Coliseum Theatre has cancelled all future shows claiming their financial future is “not sustainable” after the Arts Council pulled funding from April.

In a statement yesterday (Tuesday 31 January), the reparatory theatre said it had been “working hard to find a solution to this reduction in funding” but that “the current financial situation is not sustainable for the season as planned” and that all events until 26 March would go ahead.

It added: “It has been an incredibly difficult decision to cancel the programme of events and we understand the disappointment this will undoubtedly cause.”

The theatre was told on 4 November 2022 that it would no longer be part of Art Council England’s National Portfolio.

Chris Lawson was appointed chief executive in January replacing Susan Wildman with Jan O’Connor stepping down as the chair of the board of trustees.

At the time then Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries claimed the Arts Council needed to redress a “huge historic imbalance” in cultural funding and North West venues such as The Shakespeare North Theatre in Prescot and Blackpool’s illuminations received backing. 

Oldham Coliseum is one of the most established venues in the North West dating back to 1885 and is operated as an educational and cultural charity. 

Longer term the theatre had been working with Oldham Council and Arts Council England to develop a new home and community arts space in the town as part of a wider £41m Town Investment Plan and bid to the Towns Fund.

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