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Comedian Jason Manford, 41, didn’t hold back on Twitter this afternoon as he blasted Oldham council for their spending decisions. The presenter was backed up by some of his followers, who echoed their “heartbreak” over the situation. 

Jason shared an update from Oldham Coliseum Theatre, a historic venue in Greater Manchester. 

Upon hearing the sad news that the theatre is set to close its doors, the actor tweeted: “Someone at Oldham council should be absolutely ashamed that they have let this happen. 

“Arts council funding of £1.4m into Oldham yet they’ve decided not to spend any of it on this historic theatre.

“I’m sure the multi-storey carpark or Safestore storage unit will bring the same joy,” he added sarcastically. 

The original post from Oldham Theatre issued a statement earlier that morning, explaining that it has now “entered into a consultation period”. 

“Following the news on November 4, 2022 that Oldham Coliseum will no longer be a part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio from April 1, 2023, the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team have been working hard to find a solution to this reduction in funding,” the statement read.

“However, the current financial situation is not sustainable for the running of a full-time theatre. 

“It is with great regret therefore that we announce that we have entered into a consultation period with all staff and it is proposed that Oldham Coliseum Theatre will close its doors on Friday March 31, 2023. 

“The Coliseum is working with Arts Council England and Oldham Council to ensure a smooth transition period for the company, including funding to enable support for our workforce and honouring commitments to artists,” the statement continued. 

“The Coliseum has been at the heart of theatre in Oldham for over 100 years, with a highly regarded history in the industry dating back to the Oldham Rep which launched the careers of many famous faces. 

“Many of the Coliseum’s staff have lived in Oldham all their lives and worked with the company for over a decade. 

“They are the priority for the company at this time,” the statement added.

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“All events at the Coliseum until Sunday March 26 will go ahead as planned. Ticket holders for all other events will be refunded over the coming weeks. 

“If you have paid for tickets using a debit or credit card this will be refunded directly onto your card. 

“If you have paid for tickets using cash the Box Office team will be in touch to arrange an alternate refund method. 

“Any donations made to the theatre when booking tickets for cancelled events and Our Coliseum members whose memberships are due to expire after 26 March will also be refunded. The Coliseum asks audiences to be patient whilst staff work through each transaction manually.

“The Coliseum would like to thank its audiences, participants, sponsors, partners, funders, patrons, industry colleagues and friends for their support over many years,” the statement concluded

Jason’s followers took to the comments section to share their dismay at the situation, with Jackie writing: “This is so sad. I’ve seen many memorable plays and performances there.”

“How on earth has this been allowed to happen?!” Denise asked, while Yvette simply wrote: “Heartbreaking.” 

“Why on earth is this STILL happening in years to come I feel there will be NONE left for us to enjoy,” Christine commented. (sic) 

While Michelle added: “Its such a shame, councils don’t give a damn, only interested in spending money on the things they can make good money from!!! Total greed.” (sic) 

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