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.