On the edge of stunning Pennine landscapes, yet only a short tram journey from Manchester city centre, Oldham is a fantastic place to live, work and enjoy.
Ours is a borough of contrasts. Almost a quarter of Oldham lies within the spectacular Peak District National Park, with picturesque Saddleworth villages offering the best of rural life. Meanwhile, our town centre is undergoing a huge transformation, with plans for a new shopping centre, market and food hall, park and cultural attractions now well underway.
The Industrial Revolution saw Oldham transform from a small Pennine settlement into one of the leading industrial bases in the country, and that strong manufacturing heritage continues to this day – though industries such as engineering and food production have taken over where the cotton trade once thrived.
We’re proud to have one of the most diverse populations in the country, with around 150 different languages spoken by our community. Our growing Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities make up more than a fifth of our residents, while our fastest-growing demographic is in the ‘white other’ category, a group primarily made up of those of Polish and Romanian heritage. This is a place where people from all cultures play, learn and work together.
We know our borough is not without its challenges, but we’re working hard to overcome them. Unemployment levels are high, and deprivation and inequality has increased over the past 18 months, due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. But we are ambitious for our people and our place. We have a vision, we have a plan, and now we need the right leadership and expertise to deliver.
Together, we will continue to shape Oldham into a fairer and more equitable place for all our people. And we’d love you to join us.
Living and working in Oldham
Oldham offers a mixture of urban and rural life unlike almost anywhere else in the UK.
Perfectly positioned on the edge of Manchester, with easy access to Manchester city centre and surrounding attractions, we’re also just a short journey from fantastic walking, climbing and biking opportunities in the Peak District national park, as well as popular tourist hotspots on both sides of the Pennines.
Our borough is teeming with affordable properties, excellent schools (almost 80% are rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted) and super-connected transport links.
Direct road links from the M60 and M62 make driving to work an easy option for many. However, public transport links are also fast and easy; with a direct Metrolink line into Manchester city centre, and bus routes across Greater Manchester and beyond. Meanwhile, Manchester Airport is easily accessible for international travel.
Oldham’s Town Centre Investment Plan and wider regeneration plans are turning our vision of Creating a Better Place into a reality with a new shopping, leisure and entertainment complex.
Spindles redevelopment – the town square shopping centre is being redeveloped to create modern, vibrant workspaces and Civic offices, as well as bringing our historic Tommyfield Market into the building in a new purpose-built area. This redevelopment will transform the town centre and complement the recent developments in Parliament Square which is home to the Odeon Cinema and several popular places to eat and drink.
Enjoying our borough
Oldham is the North West’s prime destination for walking, cycling and horse-riding. Our beauty spots of Dove Stone reservoir, Tandle Hill Country Park and Saddleworth attract visitors from across the North; and with the creation of Northern Roots country park our outdoor offer is only set to improve further.
Northern Roots project
Just 10 minutes from the town centre the UK’s largest 160-acre urban farm and eco-park is being created through the Oldham Council-initiated charity, Northern Roots. From growing edible crops at scale, bee-keeping and agriculture, to mountain biking, outdoor events, and arts and culture, there will many opportunities for local people – and visitors – to discover, utilise and enjoy the site.
A short distance from the Town Centre is Alexandra Park; one of Oldham’s many beautiful parks and has been awarded a prestigious Green Flag. In this Victorian town park, you can enjoy the boating lake from the Boathouse Café and take in the magnificent scenery from the Lion’s Den on the promenade. With tennis courts, a bowling green, children’s play areas and 57 acres of land, there’s plenty to see and do.
Future plans for the park include a new eco-centre to replace the current depot, and will boost our ambitions to become the greenest borough in the region. The self-sufficient and carbon-neutral centre will be an anchor development for our flagship Northern Roots Project.
We’re proud of our diverse cultural heritage, steeped in our manufacturing past and enriched by the strong communities who are proud to call us home. We play host to a wide range of events and festivals – including Saddleworth’s world-famous brass band contest – and have an array of museums, galleries and a digital heritage trail that tell Oldham’s story.
Some of the most famous actors in the country have trod the boards at our Coliseum and Lyceum theatres, which host an extensive programme of live theatre, entertainment and education, while those who want to step further back in time can explore sites such as Saddleworths Pots and Pans, or Castleshaw Roman Fort – dating back to 79 AD.