Published: 15:00, 03 October 2017
A cinema on Romney Marsh could be up and running by next autumn – and it will be located at the Marsh Academy, we can reveal.
Speaking exclusively for the first time about CineMarsh to the Kentish Express, KentOnline's sister title, Shaun Simmons revealed the plans, how it would run, where it will be located and explained why the school was involved.
The cinema in New Romney is proposed for the school site in Station Road with changing rooms in the Marsh Academy Leisure Centre converted into a new 60-seat cinema.
Funding is expected to be approved, giving the project enough cash to start developing a planning application.
Mr Simmons, the Academy’s principal, said: “A proportion of money is confirmed. As long as the project runs, we’ve got 30% to 40% of that cost agreed.
“We’re quite close to getting some big cost contributions. Once we get 60% to 70% we would start thinking this could work. Our expectation would be to start next summer with a launch in the autumn.
“We genuinely think we can run a proper cinema.
“Even a relatively small cinema like the Kino in Rye would suit the population for this area.”
Mr Simmons said he felt planning would be supported and was in their favour as they do not need to apply for change of use as the leisure centre already comes under the same planning category.
He added that a cinema had been on the radar for several years and had been considered and revisited many times.
Talking about the layout and location of the cinema, Mr Simmons said: “You walk into the leisure centre and go left for that and right for the cinema.
“If you imagine you have a double changing room that’s where you would physically sit.
“We then lose a small changing room area and would move it to another part of the leisure centre – that would be the new ‘building’ or whatever we do.
“We’ve got numerous plans. Once we’ve got a certain proportion of funding confirmed we will go to planning.”
He added: “We will increase the capacity of the leisure centre and relocate some changing rooms to a new space, this will enable CineMarsh to be next to the reception area where the existing student changing rooms are.”
For the full story pick up this week's Kentish Express Romney Marsh edition - on sale until Wednesday.