Multi-million-pound Curzon restoration on hold after failed bid

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:28 05 October 2018

The Curzon cinema. Picture: Frederico Colarejo.

The Curzon cinema. Picture: Frederico Colarejo.

Frederico Colarejo

Clevedon’s Curzon cinema volunteers and staff are ‘bitterly disappointed’ at losing out on millions of pounds for a huge restoration project.

The grade-II listed cinema, in Old Church Road, is in desperate need of repairs to its roof, with the 1920s tiles becoming very fragile and leaks throughout the building.

In a bid to cover some of the repairwork, the board of trustees at the cinema applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) asking for £2.6million.

The first submission was sent in December 2015, followed up by a resubmission last year, but it has proved unsuccessful – bringing an end to more than two years of work from a cinema working group.

The Curzon’s chief executive Susannah Shaw is ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the news.

She added: “People have worked extremely hard and the whole town has been waiting for good news for such a long time now.

“But we understand the HLF, like so many other funding organisations, has to make difficult choices.

“We believe the HLF board was only able to pass four out of 28 applications this time, so there are many other projects which will have to look elsewhere for funds.”

Had the cash been awarded, it would have seen the Curzon covered in scaffolding for the repairs to be carried out.

The trustees told the Times the stonework and windows are in a ‘poor state’ and detract from the ‘potential grandeur’ of the iconic building in Clevedon’s town centre.

Plans to restore parts of the building’s interior, including the removal of a false ceiling and revelation of the barrel-vaulted ceiling and proscenium arch will now have to wait until another source of funding has been found.

Chairman of the Curzon’s trustees, Hilary Neal, said: “We are determined to complete the restoration of this amazing building and although it may take time.

“We are confident other funding sources will recognise the importance of this significant community venue.”

The trustees will meet soon to review other plans for funding and hope to have some ‘constructive’ news for the community in the near future.

In the meantime, the cinema – which is predominantly run by volunteers – continues to accept donations towards the restoration.

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