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Town Council Briefed on "Extreme" Challenges to Cinema Project

The Town Council was, on Monday, 14 December, updated on the latest progress towards potentially building a cinema for the town.


In a letter to the council, Tom Evans, chair of the Tenterden Cinema Group, said that they remained committed to bringing a cinema to the town, while recognising that Covid-19 had provided “extreme” challenges.


He said the Group’s analysis had shown that the project was “not financeable by normal investment mechanisms, but would require very substantial donations.”


He added that the pandemic had prevented any in-depth discussions with potential operators, but added: “….they remain very much interested in the scheme and hope to enter into discussions individually and visit the building.


“Obviously the short-term impact of Covid-19 on the cinema business is extreme….but nobody knows what the medium-to-long-term impact of the pandemic will be.


“We remain committed to working with the council, the community and potential operators to try to bring a cinema to Tenterden, but we suspect it will be impossible to plan sensibly or negotiate seriously until we are out of lockdown and have a better idea of the post-Covid economy and entertainment business”.


In a letter to Mr Evans, Town Clerk Phil Burgess suggested that the top floor of the cinema building could be left free as a shared working, hot-desking space with up to three small meeting rooms for rent by the hour…..”the potential for a shared working space offers some optimism”, he said.


Mr Burgess added: “Uncertainty has always deterred investors, and the Spring, particularly if a vaccine is then available, would seem a good time to increase investor potential.”