Prudential Assurance Buildings, Oldham
The old Prudential Assurance Company Offices, also known as ‘The Pru‘ to anyone in the UK during the 70s and 80s, was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1889, the architecture who is best known for designing Manchester’s Town Hall and the Natural History Museum in London.
In 2008 it closed for good and has remained empty ever since, slowly succumbing to the ravages of time and nefarious human activity.
In 2020, it was listed as one of the most endangered buildings of its era by the Victorian Society.
The Prudential Assurance Company was wildly successful in the second half of the 19th Century and it commissioned offices for many of Britain’s newly wealthy industrial cities.
Waterhouse, born in Liverpool but whose officers were in Manchester, designed 27 office buildings for the company.
While varied in style, almost all were built in red brick and terracotta, such as the Prudential Assurance here dating back to 1889.
Inside, the three storey building - with a basement and attic - the interior is lavishly fitted, including ornate plaster panelled ceilings, terracotta tiles, wood panelling and opulent fireplaces all to impress potential customers of the day.
The Council bosses have agreed to a compulsory purchase and the cabinet has approved plans to bring the Prudential Assurance Building into use as part of the Future High Street Fund programme.
It is aimed to repair the inside and outside to create a 21st century incubator facility for businesses, focusing on the creative, digital, and media sectors.
Let's see what happens.