A new Building Preservation Trust established with support from the AHF's Support Officer in the south west has successfully completed the purchase of the Paignton Picture House (Torbay Cinema) from private ownership.
The Grade II* listed cinema is recognised as one of the earliest cinema buildings in Europe, but had been vacant since 1999. Named as one of the priority Heritage at Risk sites for the region, the purchase of the building was secured with a £40,000 grant from Historic England and funding from Torbay Council.
The AHF has been providing guidance and support to the project, including Project Development Grants to undertake an Options Appraisal and framework Business Plan.
The Trust will now seek to secure substantial grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and reopen the building as a community cinema and central hub, with learning partnerships to Higher Education centres in the area.