Pioneering new food hall coming to Oldham as leading hospitality group backs town centre regeneration with major investment

Joe Foster, Managing Director of Northern Lights Group, and Cllr Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council. 

Oldham has received a massive boost as one of the country’s leading hospitality and entertainment entrepreneurs signs a deal to turn the Old Town Hall’s Egyptian Room into an exciting new food hall.

Six casual dining and street food style food stalls, plus a bar and seating for some 150 people will create one of the most spectacular new food halls anywhere.

Set to open in late summer this year, it’s a major landmark in the transformation of the historic Oldham Old Town Hall – and a significant investment to bring this exciting and fast-growing leisure and eating concept to local people.

Oldham Food Hall Ltd, part of The Northern Lights Group (NLG), which runs some of the north west’s most exciting and renowned restaurants and entertainment venues, has signed a long-term lease for the Egyptian Room. They will bring unique expertise and flair to create an exciting new food and drink attraction for local people and visitors to the borough.

Oldham Council Leader Cllr Arooj Shah said: “We can’t wait for Egyptian Room to open with one of the most exciting new eating and leisure offers anywhere in the region!

“Securing a regionally renowned operator like The Northern Lights Group is a massive win for Oldham. They have chosen to invest here and backed our plans to revitalise the town centre and our hospitality and entertainment sector.

“This combination of a building featuring stunning restored Victorian architecture with a cool new venue is something extra special. It’s a great attraction to bring local people and visitors into the town, particularly on evenings and at night – boosting our local economy.”

The Northern Lights Group have been a pioneer in the North-West restaurant and hospitality industry for more than three decades. They have opened and operate successful bars and restaurants in Manchester city centre, Media City and various venues throughout the North-West. They are one of the region’s largest independent hospitality groups, and recent innovations include launching three successful Mexican restaurants in the Manchester area and the innovative New Century dining and entertainment venue in Central Manchester.

Joe Foster Managing Director said: “This is an exciting time for us – and I believe for Oldham. We are ambitious to do things differently, and we’re going all out to create a unique new food hall in historic surroundings. I truly believe that local people and visitors to the town will love it.

“It’s our passion to bring exceptional food that is affordable and gives people special experiences. I can see Oldham Council has big plans for the town centre – and is well on with making them happen. We are proud to be a part of that, creating both a national-class venue, and new employment and development opportunities for local people.”

If potential local traders wish to consider launching alongside some of the food hall’s seasoned operators please contact Joe Foster directly at [email protected]

The news also provides an extra boost for plans to revitalise the town centre’s evening and night-time economy. A major roundtable event on Friday 22 March brings businesses and other partners together, hosted by Greater Manchester night-time economy leader Sacha Lord.

Building work to create the new food hall is scheduled to complete by summer 2024.

The Grade Two-listed space will offer both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a new mezzanine area. This unique venue will combine a contemporary food hall set in the preserved historic character and original features of the Egyptian Room. It features original decorative glazed wall and column tiling, parquet and terrazzo flooring, plastered ceilings and original arched windows and doors.

Oldham Council has been awarded an external funding grant from the Future High Street Fund towards the costs of the restoration works.

To find out more about the broader regeneration plans, visit: www.oldham.gov.uk/regeneration 

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