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Europe’s largest cinema operator is to run the new cinema in Oldham’s old town hall.

Following months of talks, the council and Odeon Cinemas have agreed plans to transform the derelict,
Grade II-listed building into a new, 805-seat family complex with seven screens, six restaurants and a cafe franchise.
Working with BDP and Oldham Council, VP produced a suite of CGI’s for the new extension and refurbishment.

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A new Central Business District in Hanley which could create 4,500 jobs, is to be called Smithfield Stoke-on-Trent.

The city centre redevelopment project has been named after the former Smithfield pottery factory, built in 1880.

The project, which sees the city council relocate to new headquarters, will provide more than one million sq ft of offices, shops and entertainment.

The city council, which has partnered Genr8, hopes to move into the first set of two buildings in early 2015.

Virtual Planit produced all the imagery to go with the new launch.

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Oldham is finally going to get a cinema as pioneering plans to transform the Old Town Hall are given the go-ahead.

The planning committee unanimously approved the ambitious £10m plans to convert the derelict Grade II listed building into an eight-screen 1,000 seater complex complete with high end restaurants and cafes.

Design company BDP were brought in by Oldham council to bring life back to the empty Victorian building after years of neglect, and Virtual Planit worked with architect Alan Davies to create these images.

It is hoped the town hall will reopen to the public by 2014 and councillors were told there has been considerable interest from potential tenants.

The development would ensure certain architectural features and decorations are retained while allowing the building to have a new use.

The existing ballroom, council chamber, committee rooms and court rooms will be kept and transformed into the cinema screens and a new extension and glass ‘light box’ facade on Clegg Street.

Architect Alan Davies told the meeting: “It’s not an easy building to bring back into use with lots of small rooms, corridors and different levels.

“To get to this stage a considerable number of issues were considered but this was the best solution for the building and the town as a whole.

“This will link the town hall back into the town centre while conserving the best of the town hall.

“The plans are widely supported by the public and this is an important milestone to bringing it back into use and securing its future in the long run.”

A number of ideas for the building have been put forward in the past but none have seen fruition until now.

Coun John Hudson said: “This is a very imaginative scheme that is long overdue. Our duty as a council to do everything we can to make it happen and think everyone in Oldham will welcome it.”

The building, which was built in 1841 with extensions in 1877 and 1917, has stood empty since the council moved out in 1978 and the court closed in 1995.

Work is expected to start on site next year.

In association with Benoy architects, Virtual Planit produced visually verified photomontages and CGIs of ASKs new proposals for First Street South. Consisting of a 20 storey residential tower, hotel, supermarket and retail stores this scheme will be one of the prime gateways into Manchester.

ASK’s proposals represent an opportunity to deliver transformational change to a critical regeneration area in Manchester City Centre. The development will offer many benefits including:

■ Significant investment in the area transforming the image of the site and its surroundings and will facilitate the expansion of the City Centre environment further into the First Street area. In addition and alongside the proposals for First Street North, the proposals will kick start the next stage of development at First Street which is to become the heart and focus of a distinctive new mixed use office led neighbourhood fundamental to the economy of the Regional Centre and wider City Region

■ Creation of a new food store, to serve an identified need for those people working, living and studying in the area and which will attract additional uses and occupiers which would otherwise not be drawn to the area

■ Design of the highest quality – the development will be truly mixed use and therefore sustainable in this City Centre location

■ Creation of a new hotel and student accommodation, which will encourage visitors and increase activity in the area

■ Creation of new public spaces which will be programmed with events and activities

■ Increased permeability throughout the neighbourhood, enhancing the gateway status of the site and strengthening connectivity with adjoining areas of economic activity, encouraging further investment in these areas.

First Street South, Manchester

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