County Council Enters Cinema Row

31 July 2018, 07:24 | Updated: 31 July 2018, 07:25

Royalty Cinema

Cumbria County Council's waded into the row over the future of the Royalty Cinema in Bowness.

It says it should be removed entirely from the Lake District National Park Authority's 'Local Plan' - a document outlining sites that could be developed over the next 15 years.

SLDC has already said that the cinema will be retained if anything else is built there.

Windermere councillor Ben Berry said: "The county council's decision to object to the inclusion of the Royalty Cinema on a list of sites for future redevelopment leaves South Lakeland District Council looking increasingly isolated.

"The Royalty is too important to be left to the whims of developers for the next 15-years. It's time for the district council to finally see sense and withdraw the site from the National Park's Local Plan before it is approved."

Earlier this month, the District Council asked the LDNPA to make clear the cinema would be protected, whatever happens.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, SLDC’s Deputy Leader, said: “Having the Royalty Cinema in the Local Plan affords it more and not less protection. Clearly our intentions have been misunderstood and minor alterations to the wording in our official response will reaffirm our intention to retain the cinema as a community and cultural asset.”

Culture Councillor Chris Hogg said: “We said several weeks ago that including this site in these discussions did not mean there were any plans or proposals for the Royalty, and we said we had absolutely no intention of losing the Royalty as a cinema.

“It is a vital cultural and historical asset for the district, which forms an important part of the Bowness Conservation area. It is highly valued by locals and visitors alike and provides excellent entertainment and leisure in this key tourist location.

“Our response to the LDNPA puts that commitment in black and white. We are asking the LDNPA to put a condition on that site that clearly states the cinema is retained.’’