The town of Oldham ˈoʊldəm' covers an area of around 26 square miles (67 km2) and has a population of more than 230,000,it is the centre of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham within Greater Manchester, England. It is situated beneath the Pennines between the rivers Irk and Medlock, 6.9 miles (11.1 km) northeast of the city of Manchester and 5.3 miles (8.5 km) southeast of Rochdale.
In medieval times Oldham made woollen textiles - but in the 19th century cotton was king. Oldham became one of the world's first industrialised towns and a prominent international centre of textile manufacture, it was said to be "one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England" and at it's peak produced more cotton than France and Germany combined.
By the mid-20th century Oldham's time as "Spindleopolis" was over; with the town's last mill closing in 1998.
In the 21st Century Oldham has set it's sights on transforming the town into a centre for further education and the performing arts and many of the iconic mills and other buildings from the heyday of the cotton industry still survive they been repurposed as business centres and warehouses, while the old Town Hall has been refurbished as part of a major upgrade to the town centre and now houses a cluster of cafes and an Odeon cinema, complimented by a new public space - Parliament Square - created alongside in the place of a former bus station.