Home to a thriving local arts community, the Millgate Arts Centre in Delph provides a base for theatre, film and chamber concert societies, as well as holding art exhibitions and being available for hire for business or personal use.
The Centre is a nineteenth century former Co-operative building at the heart of the village. The building has been managed and maintained by Saddleworth Players since 1972, with the exception of the library which was run by the council until 2005. The theatre facilities are used for plays, films, concerts, dance shows, art exhibitions, community events and private lettings. The library is now run by Delph Community Association under an arrangement with Oldham Libraries.
In 2005, following the changes to the running of the library, a Steering Group was established by Saddleworth Players with representatives drawn from user groups, community groups and the two local authorities to consider the future of the building.
As a result of the discussions, the Council put the building into good external and structural order and granted a new lease, which includes the library, to Millgate Arts Centre Ltd, a charitable company set up by Saddleworth Players.
The company plans to develop artistic and community use of the building by linking the library and the green room/storage space on the ground floor to make two new flexible community spaces and to complete the disabled access scheme (Phase 1 was completed in 2003). It will put in a lift, make the library accessible and provide disabled toilets. Prospective uses for this space are adult learning, youth groups, advice service, rehearsal space, library events and community meetings.
The theatre facilities will continue to be available as a performance space for outside organisations.