Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2021: Oldham Equitable Cooperative Society (Hill Stores), Oldham, Grade 2 listed, Thomas Taylor, 1900

Oldham Equitable Cooperative Society (Hill Stores) commissioned Thomas Taylor to build what would be one of the largest buildings in the area, and it was completed in 1900.

Oldham Equitable Cooperative Society (Hill Stores) commissioned Thomas Taylor to build what would be one of the largest buildings in the area, and it was completed in 1900.

The building was designed to include drapery, gentlemen's outfitting, furnishing, boot and shoe, butchering and grocery departments, together with offices, committee, and board rooms, and included an educational department with newsroom, library, and conversation room.

The Oldham Equitable and Cooperative Society building stands out from other Cooperative Society buildings with its two ballrooms. The largest one was built with a seated capacity for 1000 people, and the smaller of the two can fit 500.

Oldham Equitable Building Society was last used in the ‘80s as a dance and music venue. The scale of the building, with its ballrooms and multiple levels, have made it challenging to find a buyer, and a new lease of life for the deteriorating building. While some shops remain on the ground floor, the other rooms are now in need of urgent attention.

Griff Rhys Jones said: “It would be a tragedy if The Oldham Equitable Cooperative Society or Hill Stores is allowed to decay further. It was a popular dance hall and entertainment venue up until recent memory and is still much-loved by many in the community.”

“Its massive scale provides many opportunities for repurposing and re-use. Its existing commercial and entertainment space should give plenty of inspiration to the council, community groups and businesses to make the most of this wonderful building.”

Picture Credit: Mark Watson

Images: https://photos.app.goo.gl/QkidxzLsYjQdW7Bf6


Click here to listen to Griff's Talk ‘That's the Way the Money goes’, where he talks about the perils and joys of restoring heritage buildings.

Sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest news on the Top Ten Campaign and the fight to save our Victorian and Edwardian Heritage.

We all wish we could do more to save the historic buildings we care about. Join us and let us do the fighting for you. Without members’ financial support our specialist Conservation Advisers would not be there to make sure local authorities and churches make the right decisions to protect our heritage.


© 2017 The Victorian Society

1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT. T 020 8994 1019. E [email protected]

Charity No. 1081435. Company No. 3940996. Registered in England. Office as above.

This website uses cookies. Please see our privacy page for details.