Not enough money for cinema rebirth

The Friends of the Regent Cinema have been refused Gateway Ward Forum funds.
The Friends of the Regent Cinema have been refused Gateway Ward Forum funds.
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Campaigners hoping to redevelop the former Regent Cinema have defended their bid for the full amount of a Blackpool forum’s cash pot.

The Friends of the Regent Cinema asked the Gateway Area Forum for up to £7,900 to turn part of the building on Church Street into a community art academy.

But if it had been approved, it would have left no money in the forum’s pot for Talbot ward for the rest of the year.

The funding bid came under fire at a meeting on Wednesday.

Coun Mark Smith, who represents Talbot on Blackpool Council, said: “This money is to be spent on projects in Talbot for the rest of the year. How can we give it all to you?”

Defending the application, the friends’ chairman Stephen Brennan said: “The building has been sitting empty for too long.

“We plan to redevelop the whole cinema and make it close to what it was when it was first built.
“Part of that scheme involves building a community-based arts centre, but we need funds for basic equipment like tables and chairs.

“The centre will be open to everyone, especially schools, so they can express themselves creatively.

“It’s disappointing to not get the funding, and it means it will just take us slightly longer and means a bit more fund-raising.”

The group planned to open the academy in four to six weeks with the funding.

But residents at the meeting voted to refuse the funding application.

Shelter funds given thumbs up at forum

Residents in Talbot, Claremont and Brunswick have agreed to give £1,389 to Streetlife’s night shelter at St John’s Church.
The money, to be split between funds for Talbot and Brunswick, will be spent on a fold-away dining chair, computer equipment and a safe cabinet to store it.
The forum heard the shelter needed a new, fit-for purpose dining table as it was planning on moving the dining room upstairs, and young service users will benefit from using the computer.

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