New cinema would not be subsidised

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SOUTH Holland District Council leader Gary Porter says he will not allow public money to go towards a cinema.

Coun Porter says that if Sustainable Spalding’s Richard Garvie is right about the level of the public support behind a mutliplex cinema for the town then a commercial operator would come in and fund it themselves without the need for his regeneration firm.

He said: “It is not the business of the state to pay a subsidy for a picture house.

“There have been two or three people since I became leader who have had a look at setting one up but the numbers didn’t stack up.”

Coun Porter is not opposed to another Spalding supermarket – something Mr Garvie claims is on the horizon.

He added: “Personally I would rather see more independent retailers but it would sharpen up our supermarkets.”

Mr Garvie insists that the cinema is needed to bring footfall back to the town and warned: “We need higher footfall. It has been said to me that unless we have that, potentially three of our high street retailers will leave when their lease runs out.”

He said he will not ask for public money from a planning application – but hopes to take a slice of the cash that would normally go to the landowner to fund the cinema and regeneration firm.