The owner of Bexhill’s last remaining cinema is “very sympathetic” towards plans to restore it but wants to see “the best possible return” from its investment.
Last week representatives from the Ormiston Trust met with members of the Bexhill Community Playhouse to look over the empty premises in Western Road.
The campaigners have been promised a £500,000 grant from the Social Investment Business group to buy and repair the building for community use and wanted to prove realistically the building was not worth what the charity is asking.
The Ormiston trust was set up in 1969 after the death of Fiona Ormiston Murray; she and her new husband were killed in a car crash. The charity’s programmes support thousands of children, young people and families all over the UK often in the most challenging of circumstances.
Spokesman Steve Macleod said: “The assets of the trust have grown significantly over the years; which in turn has allowed the trust to distribute ever increasing amounts of money to the vulnerable young people which it supports.
A significant contributing factor to the success of the trust has been the careful and prudent management of its property portfolio. The former cinema in Bexhill is part of that portfolio.
The trustees of the Ormiston Trust are very sympathetic towards the objectives of the Bexhill Community Playhouse and would like to explore whether the proposal being presented by them is viable, and to what extent the Ormiston Trust can help them achieve their objectives.
“In making investment decisions the trustees have always been mindful of the core values of the trust. This naturally needs to be balanced against the trustees’ moral and legal obligation to ensure the best possible return, for the trust, from its investments.
We hope that all parties will work together to achieve the best possible outcome for the Bexhill community as well as the vital work supported by the Ormiston trust.”