Norwich’s Cinema City to get new heritage centre after £500,000 boost

John Hurt at Cinema City in Norwich. Credit: Simon Buck

John Hurt at Cinema City in Norwich. Credit: Simon Buck - Credit: Archant

Cinema City is to build a new show space dedicated to the region's movie history, after a £500,000 grant was secured.

Film education charity Cinema Plus, which is based at the Norwich cinema, was awarded the cash by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

It will pay for a permanent archive to tell the story of Norfolk's cinema-going history, and a new education and community space at Cinema City called the Screen Heritage Centre.

Outdated rooms, currently used for cinema education, will be upgraded, a new lift will be installed and the space will be used for events such as screenings, talks and workshops.

The overarching name for the project is Norfolk at the Pictures, and it aims to help people learn about the region's film heritage.

Picturehouse Cinemas, which runs Cinema City, has donated £50,000 and a string of local groups have contributed.

But the 18-month project, which now has the greenlight, has a total cost of £667,000, with the Screen Heritage Centre expected to open Autumn 2015.

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And Cinema Plus must now raise an additional £50,000 to complete the Screen Heritage Centre at the grade one listed Cinema City site.

Claire Chapman, project director for Norfolk at the Pictures, said: 'We are delighted that the HLF has awarded such a significant grant to this project and we will now focus on raising the additional £50,000 required to complete the project with the help of our supporters and partners including our patron, actor John Hurt, OBE.'

Backers include the Geoffrey Watling Charity, the John Jarrold Trust and the Timothy Colman Charitable Trust, with Norwich City Council, English Heritage, the UEA, East Anglian Film Archive, Norfolk Record Office, The History of Advertising Trust, Writers' Centre Norwich, Archant, Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich HEART also supporting in kind.

When the project is completed Cinema Plus, together with Equal Lives, Age UK and the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, will host more activities for currently underserved groups including people living with dementia and young people living with a disability.

For details see norfolkatthepictures.org.uk/events/

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