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Port Talbot cinema could be renovated for reopening

Port Talbot cinema could be renovated for reopening
Port Talbot's Plaza Cinema could be given a renovation and reopened to the public, with the local council looking at possible sources for funding.

Campaigners have lobbied for the facility to be brought back to life as a multi-use arts and community centre after it was closed in 1999.

ThisisSouthWales.co.uk reported that since 2011, meetings have been held between members of Plaza and Neath Port Talbot Council to discuss what can become of the derelict building after the local authority bought it.

It was originally opened in 1940 and has been left in a terrible state, according to images posted on DerelictPlaces.co.uk. These show decaying ceilings, seats torn out and cinema screens ripped, meaning that the building will need to be completely gutted before it can be reused.

Gareth Nutt, head of property and regeneration at the council, met with campaigners last month and a report is expected shortly which will show the progress which has been made alongside community groups.

Sean Pursey, a member of Plaza, told the ThisisSouthWales.co.uk that he was very pleased with how things are going.

"I feel we're making good progress with the project now. It's a long process but we're making our way through all the necessary steps that a project of this size requires. I'm hoping that 2013 will see the plans and funding options finalised so we can make a start safeguarding the building as soon as possible," he added.

Beverley Carver, secretary of Plaza, went on to say that the council and the community groups are "developing a way forward".

"We are hoping to report to the council again early in the new year."

At the time of buying the cinema, Mr Nutt said that the facility was held in high regard within the Port Talbot, while it would also form "strategic significance" as part of the town's regeneration.

"It is the council's desire to see the cinema once again, returned to productive use," he added.

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Date: 02/01/2013 15:27:00

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