Published: 12:01, 12 June 2016
Scaffolding has been erected around the Regent cinema in Deal as work finally gets underway to preserve the building.
Remedial works have started on the historic building on the seafront which has been at the centre of controversy due to a series of delays.
The works started on Monday and aims to improve the look of the building which has fallen into disrepair.
Developer Mark Digweed said: “The remedial works include cleaning the building façade, removing any old paint where required, making good defects and repainting with quality exterior paint to give the building an aesthetically pleasing appearance in time for the summer.”
Business partners, Mr Digweed and James Wallace met with the architect on Tuesday to review the revised scheme.
This will then be considered by the district council before plans progress.
The Reopen the Regent campaign which has been pushing for progress said it is thrilled to see the scaffolding go up.
Laura Evers Johns, spokesman for the Reopen the Regent campaign, said: “It’s taken 18 months of campaigning to get the owners to address the building’s unsightly exterior for the benefit of the town so we’re thrilled to see the scaffolding is finally going up.
“We can’t wait for the Regent to look less of an eyesore and more an icon of Deal.
“However, we’re very aware that this work will be purely cosmetic and only serve as a temporary solution.
“We’ve expressed our desire to take up James and Mark’s offer of a tour of the building at the earliest opportunity.
“The community is very keen to know the real extent of the building’s decay.”
Mr Digweed also responded to the Reopen the Regent’s claims that the developers may open the building as something other than a cinema.
He said: “We have given numerous statements to the Reopen the Regent group regarding our intention to open a cinema, additionally the building has a covenant stating the building must include a cinema.”