£100k funding for Whitehead cinema site

Whitehead Community Centre.
Whitehead Community Centre.

Whitehead Community Association has been awarded almost £100,000 for the King’s Road regeneration through a Coastal Communities Fund.

It is one of nine schemes to benefit from funding announced by the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Martin Clarke, director, of Whitehead Community Association, said: “We are delighted that Coastal Communities have chosen us as one of their recipients.

“This is an ambitious plan for Whitehead and we are delighted to be working in partnership with the community and the council.

“We think it will have a hugely beneficial effect on the economy of the town and provide a focal point for the centre and regeneration in an area that has been a bit of an eyesore for the past 20 years.”

Mr. Clarke explained that the regeneration project on the site of the former cinema, which closed in the Seventies, would involve replication of the original doors and canopy at the building which was constructed in the 1930s in an art deco style.

He indicated that the development will reinstate the original entrance to the community centre.

The project will also see the creation of three small retail units aimed at business start-ups with frontages in a Victorian/Edwardian style.

The retail proposals will also include the existing Chinese take-away business.

In addition, the project will also see the installation of a visitor information point in the community centre.

Mr. Clarke suggested that the Whitehead community is “hugely supportive” of the plans.

“A community engagement survey received 380 responses. Of these, 376 were hugely positive. Four concerns were about parking.”

Claire Vincent, Acting Director of Marine and Fisheries Division, said: “I am delighted to announce this significant support towards the development of our communities. I congratulate all nine successful applicants in what was a very competitive and heavily subscribed programme.”