The redevelopment of The Regent cinema in Redcar has taken a major step forward as the project is granted planning permission.
Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Regulatory Committee unanimously agreed the proposals for the cinema on Thursday (August 6), meaning construction could start as early as September.
In November 2019, the council’s cabinet approved an allocation of £9.68m from the Tees Valley mayor and Combined Authority Investment Fund for the redevelopment of the cinema.
It was agreed that a new modern facility will be developed at the current site on Redcar seafront showing new film releases as well as more diverse screenings.
Proposed designs for the building were made public in January, and a consultation exercise took place with members of the public who were asked to give their views.
More than 700 people responded to the consultation, with 72% of respondents stating they were in favour of the redevelopment.
The venue has been designed to seat nearly 200 people in three screens with 34, 56 and 94 seats respectively.
The cinema, which would also include a licensed café bar with spectacular sea views, is expected to open in spring 2022.
Councillor Wayne Davies, cabinet member for economic development at the council, said: “We’re really pleased the Regent Cinema has been granted planning permission.
“The cinema, which will have a bar and café, is going to be a vibrant venue for families and friends to meet and spend time together.
“Our ambition is to secure an independent operator, giving people a more unique experience when they visit to see new film releases or more diverse screenings.
“We know people have had to adapt their lifestyles following the outbreak of coronavirus, but we are as committed as ever to delivering exciting and ambitious regeneration projects for our residents and visitors who begin to find a ‘new normal’. In a recent report we carried out, visiting the cinema was the third most missed activity during lockdown.
“The project is going to create new jobs for local people and will support existing businesses in the area through more footfall and visitors, helping boost our local economy. We expect construction to begin in September.”
Cllr Shane Moore, Tees Valley Combined Authority cabinet lead for culture and tourism, said: “In rebuilding our economy following the coronavirus pandemic, we know the important role that our tourism, hospitality and culture sectors play in delivering jobs and growth. As we look to the future, this new development will help secure new jobs for local people, boost the economy and give residents something to look forward to in the long-term.
“Alongside other investments in these sectors, including the historic Kirkleatham Walled Garden, we’re improving the day-to-day life for our residents in the town and across the borough.”
The Regent development, along with plans to turn Coatham into a leisure destination and to rejuvenate Redcar Railway Station, will help establish a vibrant visitor economy in Redcar through funding coming through the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Redcar is among 101 towns selected by Government to agree a deal for up to £25 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
The deal will build upon this investment, and proposals for the potential £25m will be created over the coming months, ready for a submission to Government in January 2021.