The updated Planning and Listed Building Consent Applications for the conversion of the old Chapel into a state-of-the-art digital 112 seat cinema in The Parade were enthusiastically approved by the Planning Committee of the Town Council at last night’s inaugural (Tuesday 26 May) ‘Zoom’ meeting.
A great deal of work has been put in to address areas such as accoustics (loud on the inside, quiet on the outside), air conditioning, access (fire regulations) – and all of this to accord within the restrictions of a listed building and to a standard that won’t impact on neighbours.
“We are looking to complete the project by the summer of next year” said Chairman of Image Cinemas, Robert Hiscox. “We aim to open as a fully operational cinema, with bar and refreshments” he added, noting that plans were to add a restaurant at a further stage but the main objective was to get the core activity of the project up and running and open for business – Marlborough’s new cinema.
Next stage is for the Applications to go before Wiltshire Council’s East Planning Committee and Image Cinemas Ltd have been promised an answer by 11 June.
“Then we can progress” said Robert. “We’ve been advised that the actual works will take about a year to complete.” The next stage, assuming applications are approved will be for construction quotes to be assessed and approved and builders appointed.
“It’s been an infinitely more complicated process than we originally envisaged” remarked Robert.
To complete this final phase of the development, once all permissions to proceed have been obtained and final costed quotes from all suppliers agreed, Image Cinemas Ltd will be offering the community the opportunity to become involved in the project, as more than just customers, rather as investors.
“We will be looking for a further £750,000 to complete” said Robert, we have £1,500,000 raised and will be offering existing investors a one for two rights issue whilst encouraging new investors to come forward” he added.
Details regarding how to invest will presented on the soon-to-be-launched website for the cinema, once the final planning hurdle at Wiltshire Council has been cleared.