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Plans for Curzon cinema in Corn Exhange in Tunbridge Wells put on hold due to rising costs

By Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

Plans for a high-end cinema in Tunbridge Wells have collapsed.

Building costs for the proposed venue, in the Corn Exchange, have risen to a point where the operator, Curzon cinemas, cannot proceed without a grant or subsidy.

In July planning permission was granted for a three-screen cinema to be built on the site of the former Day At The Wells attraction, which closed in 2004.

The cinema was originally due to open this summer, but plans have now been put on hold
The cinema was originally due to open this summer, but plans have now been put on hold

The multi-million pound project would have included the regeneration of the whole Lower Pantiles area.

But there has been no major progress on the Corn Exchange site, owned by Lower Pantiles LLP.

The news comes as plans for an eight-screen cinema at Royal Victoria Place are put on display to the public.

Philip Knatchbull, CEO at Curzon Cinemas, said the chain is willing to invest a seven figure sum in Tunbridge Wells but due to funding shortfall plans cannot go ahead at this moment in time.

He added: "There remains a significant funding shortfall to finance a Curzon Cinema which will provide Tunbridge Wells with the latest film releases and other arts programming for which we are renowned.

"We would like to thank Lower Pantiles LLP for their commitment and efforts in attempting to find a viable scheme but, despite our joint hard work, we have come to the conclusion that the increased costs means that we are unable to move forwards at this time."

Lower Pantiles LLP, which owns the Corn Exchange, is now looking at other options for the future use of the building.

What do you think should be developed in the Corn Exchange? E-mail your suggestions to messengernews@thekmgroup.co.uk

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