Designed by architects Pringle Richards Sharratt, Gallery Oldham was completed in its original form in February 2002. The art gallery integrates local museum and gallery services. An extension to include the £13 million Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre opened in April 2006. The building has state-of-the-art library and learning facilities.
Programming incorporates Oldham's extensive art, social and natural history collections alongside touring work, newly commissioned and contemporary art, international art and work produced with local communities.
With no permanent displays and four temporary galleries to fill, Gallery Oldham has one of the busiest exhibitions programmes in the region. Exhibitions mix touring shows with work from the gallery's own collection of art, social history and natural history. The gallery holds work by local artists including Helen Bradley, William Stott and Alan Rankle and its collections include work by British artists L. S. Lowry, John William Waterhouse and Bridget Riley. In recent years the gallery has built up a collection of studio pottery and displays ceramic works by modern makers.