The owners of the Regal Cinema in Evesham, Worcestershire are delighted to announce that the building’s future has finally been secured, with funding committed by Wychavon District Council, Advantage West Midland and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
After many setbacks, and tremendous efforts from all concerned, the final round of funding is now in place and restoration of the building is set to begin.
Ian Wiper, on behalf of Lumiere Kinesis, the owners of the Grade 2 Listed cinema, said the £2 million investment is dedicated to ensuring that the Regal is restored to its former glory and once again becomes a focal point for the local community of Bengeworth and its surrounds. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity, support and friendship of so many people, some of whom have been campaigning for many years to save the cinema. All credit today is due to their faith and perseverance. We would like to thank all those at Wychavon District Council and Advantage West Midland who have continued to support us through very difficult times. Today is about celebrating them and everyone who has supported and will continue to support the Regal Cinema.”
The support of Wychavon District Council is in the form of a loan of £150,000 and a £80,000 grant towards the project under the Port Street Townscape Heritage Initiative, part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Advantage West Midland have provided a grant of £300,000 to supplement the £1.1million invested by Lumiere Kinesis. The balance of the restoration finance has been provided by the Triodos, a leading European ethical bank which supports community enterprise.
Alistair McGowan, a prominent supporter of the campaign to restore the Regal, and patron, said: “It's just wonderful news - I am so delighted. What a boost it will be for Port Street and for cinema lovers all over the Vale. The plans for the building are so exciting; it will give Evesham a building to be seen in and to talk about for years to come. Congratulations to all concerned for pulling it off. There are exciting times ahead!”
Councillor Paul Middlebrough, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “A revived Regal will be a great boost for Evesham and for tourism in the area. We think it will make a major contribution to the local economy.”
Jack Hegarty, Managing Director at Wychavon District Council, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to help a major and imaginative scheme to revive one of our local landmark buildings.”
Mark Pearce, Corporate Director at Advantage West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide £300,000 towards the renaissance of this landmark building which will be a great resource for local people.
“We are particularly proud of our long and fruitful association with Evesham – with over £500,000 provided for the hugely successful Market Towns Programme, and more recently a further contribution of £500,000 towards the redevelopment of the High Street.
“This project is of great significance locally and our commitment is helping to create a legacy from which Evesham will benefit in years to come.”
Peter Luff, MP for Mid-Worcestershire, said: “This really good news for Evesham is the product of outstanding team work. The local community has been amazing in its support for the cinema and I am so glad all the hard work has paid off.”
The Regal Cinema has extended its heartfelt thanks to Peter Luff and his wife Julia. Laurence Wiper, The Regal's Manager said: “Without their unfailing support, energy and enthusiasm, we would not be celebrating today.”
The Regal, built in the 1930s, re-opened earlier this year, after standing empty since 2003. Redevelopment will commence when the current programme of film screenings and concerts finishes, with the last event being held on 30 October, when long time local supporters John Wood and The Splinters are appearing. It will be the very last opportunity to witness and support the Regal before redevelopment work commences. A small number of tickets are still available at www.theregal.ac or on 01386 421 007.
Restoration is scheduled for completion mid-2011. The Friends of the Regal Cinema scheme continues to attract the support of many who are committed to its successful launch and on-going contribution to the community. An open day will be held on the last Sunday of each month so anyone interested can view progress of the redevelopment first hand. For more information, please contact Laurence Wiper on 01386 421 007 or visit www.theregal.ac.
You can follow the Regal on Facebook at The Regal Cinema Evesham or on Twitter @The_Regal.
For further information
The Regal Cinema
Laurence Wiper, Manager: 01386 421 007
Wychavon District Council
Rob Byrne, Communications Manager: 01386 565102
Advantage West Midlands
Media Desk: 0121 503 3311