Council bosses in Oldham hunt restaurant chains to fill £37m retail development

GBK - Chichester

Nando’s, Loungers and Gourmet Burger Kitchen are among the restaurant chains headlining a £37m redevelopment project at Oldham’s Old Town Hall.

The Old Town Hall is set to welcome its first visitors on October 21 and the restaurant trio will be fighting it out between themselves for a share of the customers that visit the new site.

Developers are hoping to bring in additional chains to the site as they still have room to accommodate further restaurants.

GBK has taken a 2,464 sq ft restaurant, which is situated next to the Odeon cinema, which can seat 70 people.

Loungers, the all-day café bar concept, will launch a 3,272 sq ft restaurant, while Nando’s has a 3,264 sq ft unit. The three brands join Costa as Old Town Hall’s initial flagship F&B tenants.

Councillor Jean Stretton, leader of Oldham council, said: “We are delighted to have formally signed GBK, Loungers and Nando’s and confirmed the opening date. Along with Odeon and Costa, the Old Town Hall is really taking shape ahead of its opening next month, and we are experiencing very strong interest from a number of other leading restaurants to complete the line-up.”

Stretton said the first wave of signings also reflects the “growing recognition” that Oldham is changing, thanks to a large extent by significant investment in a range of initiatives in the town centre, from the three tram stops to landmark developments such as the Old Town Hall.

Keith Bird, COO at GBK, said: “The Old Town Hall is the perfect location for the expansion of GBK. The building has great character, with so many of the period features retained. The accessibility of parking and the tram were significant draws too, as was the investment being made by the Council to improve the town centre for residents and visitors.”

The announcement is the latest phase in the extensive investment programme led by Oldham Council to transform the Old Town Hall into a new daytime and evening leisure destination for Oldham and north east Greater Manchester.

There are up to seven restaurant units available within the redevelopment, ranging in size from 2,464 sq ft to 6,700 sq ft.

Two units are available to let including the iconic Egyptian room, which is the final ground floor unit and offers an opportunity for an “entrepreneurial” restaurant operator, according to the council.

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