Refurbishment of Regal Cinema in Tenbury delayed after public consultation THE start of work on the £800,000 refurbishment of Tenbury’s Regal Cinema has been put back. Plans to begin construction on the Heritage Lottery-funded project next month have been put back until later in the summer. Changes to the scheme following a public consultation will need approval from Malvern Hill District Council planners. Approval will also have to be obtained to a technical solution to corrosion that has been discovered in metal beams in the listed building , which dates back to the 1930s. Drawings of the frontage of the how the Regal will look have been unveiled but are unlikely to become reality until at least the summer of 2012, dashing hopes of completion in the spring.
Work on the Regal will include a new entrance foyer, toilets and a complete refurbishment of the auditorium, including repainting the cinema’s iconic Mediterranean style fresco. A complete replacement of the roof will be involved and a state-of-the-art digital projection and sound system is also envisaged – although the estimated £100,000 cost of this is separate to the Heritage Lottery funding. Neville Topping, project manager for the refurbishment, has confirmed that the job is about four weeks behind schedule. He is confident that an effective risk assessment should minimise the danger of any surprises. But he says that areas of concern include any delay in obtaining planning and building consents. When work is under way there is also the worry that something will show up such as the discovery of unexpected asbestos or problems with the plasterwork under the fresco.
Tenbury Town Council, which owns the building, had stopped taking bookings after May but as a result of the delay, it is now looking for users to come forward. “Our problem is that most of the people who use the Regal appear to have made alternative arrangements,” said Dawn Worgan, Tenbury’s town clerk.