Yet again a Labour Oldham Council project that supposedly had huge interest from external bodies and private sector companies has after nearly four years on the drawing table become another project that can only go forward by a myriad of ever changing methods. It can only go forward if Oldham Council takes out public sector loans to wholly fund and self-develop, can only go forward with Government grants, can only go forward using strip funding. Oldham Council documents state “Analysis to date suggests that the only viable route for delivery of the Hotel would be for the Council to self-develop. This would comprise the Council building the Hotel to the requirements necessary to attract a company to operate it and hold a licence agreement with an appropriate brand.” Chronic-Oldham wrote in 2013 how this development would offer very little for the local Oldham populous other than low-paid, low-skilled training this is confirmed as Oldham Council’s report states “The internal programme is focused on Hotel Future employees and is primarily focused on providing apprenticeship placements.” However, the apprenticeship programme is currently undergoing regulatory and funding changes, there are still questions of the eligibility of Oldham Council and the financial risks associated with the apprenticeship scheme. The higher-skilled training and primary income source would come from external trainees “The external programme is focused on non-Hotel Future employees and will offer vocational and personal development courses including leaderships, executive management, FdAs in hotel and culinary management, wine tasting and accounting. The Hotel Future Team anticipate that the higher level training provision in particular will generate interest beyond the North West.” Much of the last year has apparently been spent stripping down Hotel Futures original bespoke design requirements to remove both substantial cost and risk. That risk reduction being that if the Hotel Future scheme fails the design will now be bog-standard enough to allow the hotel to be pitched to external operators. Should this development go ahead? No. Will it go ahead? Yes. This is primarily a business scheme to upgrade and monetize the Queen Elizabeth Hall, which, like many of Oldham’s Councillors, has not been upgraded since the 1970’s and fails to attract any external investment, any suggestion that the scheme is anything else is frankly nonsense. The lack of private investment within all the Councils Oldham Town centre regeneration projects is indicative of how the private sector regards the risk associated with spending in Oldham and hints at the level of financial risk Oldham Council has and continues to take on. In regards to Hotel Future the Oldham Council report states there is “no appetite for any brands to self-develop or take a direct lease” As is customary for Oldham Council the financial costs associated with the development are being withheld from the public.