More screens for town arts centre?

FEASIBILITY STUDY: More cinema screens could be added to an improved South Holland Centre.
FEASIBILITY STUDY: More cinema screens could be added to an improved South Holland Centre.
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More cinema screens could be added to The South Holland Centre to help Spalding compete with neighbouring towns that offer multi-screen complexes.

The centre has one screen – a ‘temporary’ fixture put up above the stage – and usually shows blockbusters weeks after the general release date.

For years cinema audiences were in decline in the UK, but the silver-screen is enjoying a new heyday and reviving town centre fortunes with restaurants and coffee shops springing up around cinemas.

However, South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth has revealed a feasibility study is underway and the result should be known before the end of the year.

He said: “I think they are just looking at all options, essentially more screens.”

Coun Worth said there’s room at The South Holland Centre to divide it up into smaller seating areas with additional screens.

If extra screens are put in, he believes the centre could get “more popular films in quickly” and perhaps show them for longer periods.

The potential boost to the town centre – in particular its night-time economy – is a huge bonus if any scheme gets the go-ahead.

Coun Worth said: “What we don’t really want is people going off to Peterborough and Boston – I would rather they spend their money in Spalding.”

The feasibility study will also look at bringing “bigger names” to appear live on stage at the centre.

Coun Worth said there’s a lot of work to do before decisions are made – any real action is likely to come after the elections in May – but an enhanced South Holland Centre would have to at least break even or make money to pay towards other services.

His leisure portfolio also includes sporting facilities.

Coun Worth said: “We are going to need another leisure centre in the next couple of years so that’s going to have to be sorted out.”

l Write to us with your ‘big idea’ for breathing new life into our towns at: Letters, Spalding Guardian, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB. Or email jeremy.