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Petition starts to save old cinema in Aylesbury

Petition starts to save old cinema in Aylesbury

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 12:01pm 15th January 2019. (Updated at 7:51am 16th January 2019)

An old cinema in Aylesbury could be lost and used as an entrance to a car park.

The Granada cinema on the High Street, which is used by Gala Bingo, might be demolished and used as an additional entrance to the Exchange Street Car Park.

The bingo hall is going to close in early February.

It's all part of the further Waterside North developments in the town.

A petition has now started to stop this from happening.

George Entecott, who started the petition, commented:

"I believe this is a poor use of the facility and the building could be re-purposed.

This building is an important part of Aylesbury’s heritage and would make a fantastic music venue."

Councillor Julie Ward, Cabinet Member for Civic Amenities at AVDC said:

“The indicative master plan dating back to 2014 for the Exchange Street car park and some of the adjacent buildings, showed the Gala Bingo site (the old Granada Cinema building) as being demolished, with the space used for mixed-use development with a new entrance onto the High Street to better connect the High Street to The Exchange - bringing increased footfall to that part of town.  

“However that was five years ago, and we’ve always maintained that because of the volatile retail market we would need to remain agile and adapt as things evolve.

"Therefore we would develop The Exchange in phases; which is what we’ve done, with phase one about to complete.

“AVDC is committed to the ongoing regeneration of the town centre, and with Garden Town status, we’re keen to explore the next phase, while in the meantime bringing forward the improvement schemes for Kingsbury and Market Square.

"We are shaping a town for future generations while seeking to preserve our heritage and culture.

“Although we wouldn’t be in a position to retain and manage the Gala Bingo site on a non-commercial basis, we’ve always said that we’re open to suggestions for its future use which could be explored.

"We would welcome approaches from operators with interest in their proposals for the building and how it could enhance the High Street and town centre regeneration more widely."

A spokesperson for Gala Bingo said:

"Following a review of our club portfolio, we have decided to close the Aylesbury club on Thursday 7th February. 

"Our key priority is looking after our colleagues and customers.

"We will make every effort to offer them opportunities to transfer to other clubs and will continue to support them at this time."

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