Top restaurant chains line up for Oldham regeneration project

GBK plans to put kitchen equipment at the heart of its overall restaurant design.

Nando’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Costa are among the named brands planned to open in Oldham’s flagship Old Town Hall development later this year.

The ground breaking scheme – which is transforming the Grade II listed building into a multiplex Odeon cinema with 800 seats and seven screens – will include a total of seven family restaurants.

The local authority and its agents have been talking to a range of potential operators about becoming tenants at the family friendly venue when it opens later this year and Oldham council has recently confirmed that it has agreed ‘heads of terms’ deals that would see Nando’s and GBK joining Costa as the first tenants, subject to completion of legal agreements.

Jean Stretton, Oldham council leader, said: “We’ve been having talks at a senior level with potential restaurant operators for several months and these are exciting times now for this development.”

“We’ve always been very clear from the outset about the calibre and type of operator we wanted for the Old Town Hall. This is a development that will make a big statement about the new Oldham. It is our flagship regeneration scheme and that’s why we only want great quality, popular, trusted and sought-after brands. Both Nando’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen clearly fit that bill.

“Bringing exciting new dining options to the town centre like this will complement the cinema development, our Independent Quarter and our retail and leisure offer. Above all it will make for a great family experience and choice. Operators like these represent another big step forward in Oldham’s regeneration. Interest remains extremely strong in the other units and talks are ongoing with potential tenants with more announcements set to come in the summer.”

Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, said: “We were thrilled to be approached by Oldham Council about the Old Town Hall at such an early stage in the planning of this re-development, and are pleased to confirm that we will be opening later this year. We will be joining a great line-up of restaurants and shops in the town centre.”

Main contractor, Morgan Sindall, has been on-site working on the restoration of the Old Town Hall since October 2013 and work is set to complete later this year.

Painstaking efforts are being taken to preserve as much of the venue’s heritage as possible to deliver a unique historic setting that will put it in a different class from other sites.

Barry Roberts, North West area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “The Old Town Hall development will provide a real boost to the local economy and significantly improve the town’s leisure offering, so it’s great to see such high-profile, high-calibre brands signing up to be part of the scheme.

“We are working to a strict schedule and taking every care to preserve many of the Old Town Hall’s beautiful period details.

“We are privileged to be playing a part in a project that is so important to Oldham’s community and we look forward to handing over a fantastic development later this year.”

The Old Town Hall has restaurant units to let ranging in size from 2,500 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft. It will house an 800-seat, seven screen Odeon cinema and retail, and is a premium location.

Situated right at the heart of the retail core, adjacent to Parliament Square – a new high-quality public space – it is also just yards from the Oldham Central Metrolink stop on Union Street.

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