Now that the Planning Inquiry has finished hearing evidence, WFCT would like to thank the very many people who contributed to our part of the process – outlining the exciting vision for a 21st century entertainment venue in this historic building.
The Inquiry itself was a real test of the viability of those plans and they came through some tough scrutiny looking more robust than ever. Indeed, during the Inquiry we obtained a firm offer of £2m loan financing which would enable us to secure the building and move to a ‘first phase’ refurbishment to re-open the doors with a limited programme. This is a major step forward as our vision now have the cash to back it up.
Amongst those we would like to acknowledge are:
- Soho Theatre, our lead partner, who underwrote WFCT’s legal costs and whose ongoing support makes the business plan viable
- Curzon Cinemas who have brought great professionalism and a passion for cinema
- Sadie Frost and Andrew Green who will be an important part of the future and have helped us to secure the offer of loan funding
- Ian Ritchie Architects, our award-winning architects, who have put together a fantastic scheme; Richard Oyarzabal, Graham Devlin and Bryan Savery for their work on the business planning and all our witnesses.
- Arts Council England and the London Borough of Waltham Forest for showing the belief to fund the feasibility studies.
- The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Rep Theatre and colleagues within the arts world who will bring educational and artistic projects to the new Granada.
- Our legal team who worked very hard to present our case so well.
- Above all, the local people, businesses, politicians and campaigners who have given wholehearted support to our plans.
The next steps for the Inquiry will be more work from the Planning Inspector and a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, who is expected to make a decision in late Spring 2013.
At WFCT, we will take a short break before regrouping early in the New Year to further develop our plans towards securing and financing the purchase of this historic building.
We will also have more to say about our vision for the Granada, what the programme will look like and how it will work. We’re keen to share this with all supporters of the campaign – and, if they exist, any doubters – and we want to make sure we hear your thoughts about what you’d like to see there.
Meantime, thank you again. Seasonal greetings and a very Happy New Year from all of us at Waltham Forest Cinema Trust; let’s hope that 2013 is a memorable year for the Walthamstow Granada.