Save Walthamstow Cinema have met Trustees and Directors of Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT) and Soho Theatre to discuss news of the sale of the EMD/Granada to Antic pub company.
WFCT/Soho Theatre have already announced that they have met Antic and that their first meeting was positive and productive. Their aspirations, which we hope are fully shared by the Council, is that a collaboration between Antic and WFCT/ST can bring about our long-term plans for returning the Granada to life. The key, of course, is that there is genuine entertainment use and full community engagement within those plans.
It is early days and Antic’s plans are yet to be fully established, however we can confirm that The Victoria bar, and shops below are under the same ownership as the main cinema building itself.
Antic have released a short statement here which explains that they have yet to raise the finance to complete on the deal and put the necessary investment into the building. Their proposals to change the use of any part of the building will require full planning approval.
It is thanks to the support of thousands of people over the years that WFCT and Soho Theatre’s plans could be made a reality. Antic would not have been able to secure agreement on a purchase if UCKG’s church plans had been granted. It is worth noting that the building would have had a much higher commercial value if it had been granted planning to become a church. This means that Antic have got a bargain based on the community’s campaign and the very considerable public and charitable funding that has been put into developing the viable architectural and business plans which led to a rejection of Church use.
We aim to make the new owners fully aware of this and are hopeful that we can work together towards a genuine entertainment and community engagement alongside a popular and profitable Antic pub.
We will let you know how your support can make a difference in future weeks.