Restoration work begins at the Ritz Cinema

Restoration work on the Ritz Cinema is underway this week after an initial investment from Cory Environmental Trust.

The funding of £19,000 will be used to carry out phase one of asbestos removal from the building and making it safe for further work.

SRS builders are carrying out the work and are expected to completed phase one of the removal by Friday, May 18.

The Ritz is a project from community group Off The Bench, to restore the once thriving venue.

Once completed the building will not only be a cinema but also be used as a multi-purpose community facility and a social hub for young people and the wider community.

Barrie Billinghay, Secretary of Cory Environmental Trust said: “The Trustees could all remember the Ritz in its heyday and were fully supportive of the work being undertaken to bring it back into use.

“They will all be watching the work with anticipation for it’s reopening,” he added.

Off The Bench Chief Executive Pete Genders (pictured) added: “We are so thrilled to finally see some movement on The Ritz.

“We are extremely thankful to the Cory Environmental Trust for the generosity they have shown in awarding the project this money. We sincerely hope this is the start of great things to come for the venue.”

Sam Reid from SRS Builders! who are completing the work, and have been integral to the project from its inception added: “It’s really exciting to finally get started on the refurbishment of the Ritz.

“A lot of background work has gone in so far, so to get things moving on the ground is fantastic. I’m looking forward to disclosing designs to the public in the near future.

The Cory Trust would like to hear from any group in the city or its surroundings that has a project involving open green space or renovations on a building of historical interest or community use.

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