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Plans submitted for new Norfolk cinema

PUBLISHED: 14:10 25 May 2019

Artist impression of the proposed new cinema that could take shape by converting part of King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: McFarlane Latter Architects

Artist impression of the proposed new cinema that could take shape by converting part of King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: McFarlane Latter Architects

McFarlane Latter Architects

Plans to convert part of King's Lynn Corn Exchange into a new cinema have taken a step forward.

Grade II listed King's Lynn Corn Exchange on the Tuesday Market Place was built in 1854 and was turned into the current entertainment venue in 1996 following a £4.4m rebuild. Picture: Angela SharpeGrade II listed King's Lynn Corn Exchange on the Tuesday Market Place was built in 1854 and was turned into the current entertainment venue in 1996 following a £4.4m rebuild. Picture: Angela Sharpe

Proposals to convert an underused part of the Corn Exchange building into a two-screen cinema are set to be considered by West Norfolk and King's Lynn Borough Council.

A planning application and listed building application have been submitted for alterations to the roof of the Grade II listed building that will be necessary if agreement is given by the council's cabinet at a meeting on June 18 to press ahead with the proposal.

Artist impressions and detailed layouts and costings are due to be submitted for consideration by the cabinet comitte, following initial agreement to work up the idea in more detail.

Artist impression of the proposed new cinema at King's Lynn Corn Exchange which would have two screens and be built in an underused by the bar area. Picture: McFarlane Latter ArchitectsArtist impression of the proposed new cinema at King's Lynn Corn Exchange which would have two screens and be built in an underused by the bar area. Picture: McFarlane Latter Architects

The detailed proposal allows for a 58-seat screen and a 52-seat screen cinema to be developed by converting a seldom-used part of the upper bar area. It includes up-to-date projection, accoustic sound improvements, quality seating.

Additional works will include moderations to the toilets and improvements in the foyer to improve the customer experience.

Ken McFarlane of McFarlane Latter Architects, who have created the proposed design, said: "We're pleased to be working with the borough council on such an exciting development that I believe can exploit the full potential of a currently rarely used part of The Corn Exchange and increase visitors into the town".

A planning application and listed building application have been submitted for alterations to the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn as part of cinema proposals. Picture: Ian BurtA planning application and listed building application have been submitted for alterations to the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn as part of cinema proposals. Picture: Ian Burt

If the plans are approved and consent is granted, the work will go out to tender in July or August this year, with work set to start in January 2020. Work needs to be started quickly so as to create as little disruption to the theatre's operation as possible.

It would see one of the region's biggest entertainment venues turning to the big screen in a bid to diversify its offerings in an investment which could cost £1m, but would then bring in some £200,000 a year. The town currently has the Majestic, a three-screen independent cinema on Tower Street.

Cllr Brian Long, leader of the council and cabinet member for resources, said: "It is vital that we make full use of resources that we have available.

The independent Majestic Cinema, in King's Lynn, which has three screens. Picture: Chris BishopThe independent Majestic Cinema, in King's Lynn, which has three screens. Picture: Chris Bishop

"The Corn Exchange is a valuable asset that currently has under-used space which could generate income as well as provide additional entertainment for people coming into the town."

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