A huge leap forward for our cinema dream!

We’re delighted to confirm that Waltham Forest Council have approved funding for a Compulsory Purchase or negotiated sale of the EMD/Granada cinema from current owners, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).

At a packed meeting at Walthamstow School for Girls, Council Leader Cllr Chris Robbins introduced proceedings by confirming UCKG’s Pastor Paul Hill and directors of Soho Theatre Company were present.

As portfolio holder for Economic Growth & High Streets,
Cllr Clare Coghill quoted sections from this document, requesting council approval to help fund a purchase of the cinema by
Soho Theatre Company for Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT).

Speeches confirming the long and passionate campaign lead by local residents came from former Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard, Cllr Coghill and Deputy Leader Cllr Clyde Loakes, who said the council has changed considerably since the EMD’s closure in 2003, and understands the building’s true value not just to Waltham Forest, but London and beyond.

Steve Marmion, Creative Director of Soho Theatre Company spelled out his company’s exciting commitment to return the cinema to its original role as a modern day cine-variety venue as detailed below.

A message from Soho Theatre Company & Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

A big thank you to everyone at the McGuffin Film Society and Save Walthamstow Cinema

As you know, Waltham Forest Council last night agreed to provide financial support to help Soho Theatre purchase the former Granada building from its current owners, as well as taking significant further steps towards the Compulsory Purchase should negotiations fail.  Working closely with the local community, we plan to re-open the original auditorium as a thriving venue for comedy, theatre and film, together with three new cinema screens, an education space and a cafe, restaurant and bar.

We wanted to thank all the supporters who have campaigned so hard for this amazing building. We are delighted to be working closely with the Council and grateful for their support, and while we’re still at an early stage, we hope that it won’t be too long before we can come together and properly celebrate the re-opening of the Granada.

Meantime, we have outlined our vision for the building at www.sohotheatre.com/walthamstow and we would very much welcome your feedback, thoughts and suggestions as we move forward.

Steve Marmion and Mark GodfreySoho Theatre,
and Neil Gerrard, Waltham Forest Cinema Trust


When could the cinema finally re-open?

The million dollar question! Possibly within 2 years, should the longer process of a CPO be required. Whichever way ownership is transferred, Soho Theatre/WFCT plan to revive the cinema in phased stages.

Could a CPO fail?

There is no guarantee it would be successful, however rejection of UCKG’s plans at local and national level and the commitment of both Waltham Forest Council and Soho Theatre company should give confidence that the risk of failure is low.

Read the Waltham Forest Guardian article here

The council received significant backing for a CPO/negotiated sale so thanks to everyone who showed their support!

 

supporters

Supporters gather after the historic meeting

 

handshake

Cllrs & WFCT Trustees watch Council Leader Chris Robbins shake hands with Soho Theatre’s Steve Marmion.

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Compulsory Purchase meeting – how you can attend

Waltham Forest Council Cabinet members will vote on whether to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase of the EMD/Granada cinema
at a meeting on:

Tuesday 15th July at 6.30pm at
Walthamstow School for Girls,
Church Hill,
Walthamstow E17 9RZ.

Open to the public, entry via school reception main entrance. Please aim to arrive from 6pm.
Other topics will be discussed at the meeting. 

Details here
.

Please note time & venue change – this was originally to be held at Walthamstow Town Hall from 2pm

The council has clearly changed the time and venue because previous meetings about the cinema’s future have been so heavily attended. So please join us there if you can – and show the council that our community very strongly backs their decision to press ahead with the CPO process.

Please share via social media to spread the word, as we have only just over a week to go!
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What’s happening?

Waltham Forest Council Cabinet members will vote on whether to enforce a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), aimed at acquiring the EMD/Granada cinema from current owners, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).

This follows UCKG’s failure to agree a sale of the building after their planning appeals were rejected in May 2013.

A successful CPO will enable ownership of the building to be transferred to Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT), for its revival as a major entertainment venue.

WFCT has established a fully costed business case making a CPO viable.

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Compulsory Purchase & how you can help

Waltham Forest Council Cabinet members will decide on 15th July whether or not to enforce a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), aimed at acquiring the EMD/Granada cinema from current owners, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).

Details here

This follows UCKG’s failure to agree a sale of the building after their planning appeals were rejected in May 2013.

A successful CPO will enable ownership of the building to be transferred to Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT), for its revival as a major entertainment venue.

WFCT has established a fully costed business case making a CPO viable.

Please let the council know you back a CPO by emailing the decision makers. Copy & paste these email addresses:

leader@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.clyde.loakes@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.clare.coghill@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.liaquat.ali@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.mark.rusling@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.khevyn.limbajee@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.angie.bean@walthamforest.gov.uk;
cllr.ahsan.khan@walthamforest.gov.uk;
sam.neal@walthamforest.gov.uk

You can also post your support to:

Sam Neal, Environment and Regeneration, Sycamore House, Town Hall Complex, London E17 4JF

The deadline for comments to the council is 1st July.

Please share & spread the word to help boost a successful CPO.

*PLEASE HELP THE CAMPAIGN FURTHER – SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES ON THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE* 

 

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Hear about the plans for our cinema!

On Saturday 26th April our friends at Soho Theatre will be at The E List Live event in Walthamstow,  discussing their plans for our cinema, in partnership with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust.

The E List Live is at St. Mary’s Welcome Centre, Church End, Walthamstow Village, from 12-8pm. It’s part of the Eat or Heat Spring Fair.

 

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Campaign update – March 2014

Since UCKG’s planning Appeal was rejected last May, we have kept in regular contact with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust and the council to find out what is happening, and any ways that supporters can help.

In the last few weeks we have expressed concerns over the lack of news and have asked what condition the EMD/Granada building is currently in. We asked if the Mayor of London has been contacted to assist the cause and if a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) may be carried out as agreed by the council in principle in December 2012 should a negotiated sale with UCKG fail to materialise.

The Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Chris Robbins stated:

“I can confirm that acquisition of the former EMD Cinema using public funding or CPO powers will be a lengthy process requiring relevant decision making processes and due diligence to be undertaken.

This work is on-going and while it may appear as if little is happening the Council and the Soho Theatre (the lead organisation for the WFCT plans) are meeting regularly to progress this. At this stage we are not involving any other parties such as The Mayor but we have not ruled this out. English Heritage and our Conservation Officer did gain access to the building recently to ensure the building remains wind and weather tight and I can confirm this is still the case.”

We have also received this statement from
Waltham Forest Cinema Trust:

“We do understand that there hasn’t been much news on the building recently, but behind the scenes the Council are being very supportive and things are happening.

Contact has been established with the owners and our preference is still for a negotiated sale rather than the additional cost and delay of a Compulsory Purchase Order for the building.

Soho Theatre, our lead partner, has viable business, architectural and funding plans; they are  working closely and constructively with the Council to take them forward. The plans for the revitalised building are very exciting and we can see both it and the new Arcade development working very well together, and between them transforming this corner of Walthamstow.

As soon as there is more to report, we promise to let you know.”

At present the Trust has not asked individual supporters for help, however it may be useful in the next few months to remind all concerned just how much support there is for reviving this building as a modern day cine-variety theatre – the purpose for which it was built.

We therefore hope that we may be able to count on you in due course.

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Happy New Year!

Waltham Forest Cinema Trust with the support of Waltham Forest Council continue progressing their plans for seeing the eventual re-opening of the EMD/Granada as a major cinema and live entertainment centre. We hope that a transfer of ownership from the building’s current owners – Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) – will be made as swiftly as possible, whether through a Compulsory Purchase (a proposition still supported in principal by the council), or a negotiated sale. Despite the cinema being closed by UCKG 11 years ago, support for its retention in that use has grown stronger and wider each year.

With much work going on behind the scenes, we can be confident that 2014 will bring our cinema dream that little bit closer.

We will keep you informed of all important news as soon as possible.

Thank you for your support! 

 

 

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An extraordinary story…

Since the UCKG have missed their opportunity in the High Court to challenge the government’s decision to refuse them planning permission we understand attempts are being made to negotiate an eventual sale of the cinema.

There is no timetable in place to do this and it’s expected to be a lengthy process. Although the cinema has been closed for 10 years, the people of St Albans have been without their one for 18 years – however, in Spring 2014 it is due to re-open as a revived 1930′s picture palace – so there is plenty of hope for our cause! Read about the St Albans Odeon story here

From one extraordinary story to another…

Save Walthamstow Cinema and The McGuffins have been working with Charles S.P. Jenkins, author of stories-of-london.org which celebrates the fascinating world of the UK capital.

Charles, a former East End resident, has delved deep into the life of our cinema to produce a colourful and amusing tribute to this beautiful building, which he has dedicated to the supporters of it – ie. YOU.

Packed with rarely seen images, from opening night in 1930 to the gala last night in 2003, this could be the definitive story of the Granada Walthamstow. Read and see it all here

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UCKG planning appeals REJECTED

We’re delighted to confirm that planning appeals to convert the EMD cinema into a UCKG Helpcentre with community use/cinema provision have been dismissed by the government and planning permission has been refused.

This follows agreement by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of the planning inspectorate’s  recommendation to refusal UCKG’s appeals.

The Planning Inspectorate’s full report is here: 13-05-22 Hoe St Comb DL-IR-CN

UCKG have six weeks to challenge the decision in the High Court. Waltham Forest Council pledged last year to consider a compulsory purchase of the cinema should UCKG refuse to negotiate selling it to Waltham Forest Cinema Trust in the event of these appeals being rejected.

Reports covering the decision and response from cinema supporters and the UCKG are here:

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/10438601.EMD_cinema_appeal_rejected/?ref=mc:

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/10440003.Campaigners_urge_UCKG_to_sell_former_EMD_cinema_after_appeal_rejected/?ref=ar

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/10440656.UCKG__totally_committed__to_building_church_after_EMD_cinema_appeal_rejected/?ref=mc

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EMD film report

The Planning Inspectorate is due to make their recommendation to Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP on UCKG’s planning appeals this May.

While we await his decision and find out if the Communities Secretary upholds or rejects it, here’s a short film and article by Alan Selby, interviewing Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and Bill Hodgson of the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust and McGuffin Film Society.

http://selbyalan.com/blog/pickles-to-rule-on-controversial-church-plans-for-walthamstow-cinema/

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2012 in review

A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in the campaign this year. The site received 8,600 views in 2012. The busiest day of the year was September 4th with 492 views and the most popular post that day was Officers recommend UCKG plans are rejected. Yay! Our visitors come not only from the UK but also the United States and Australia! Happy New Year to everyone!

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