Council plans revealed for former cinema

The much debated future of the former Mecca Bingo site in Ashford’s Lower High Street may be about to be decided.

Ashford Borough Council has engaged London architects Ash Sakula to come up with plans to redevelop the Vicarage Lane Car Park to develop new housing, some studio workspaces, a new public realm and a small indoor performance space.

The plans propose that the frontage of the former cinema building would be retained to provide a walkway to the new development as well as providing a small indoor performance area upstairs. Much of the old cinema would be demolished providing views to St Mary’s Church.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council said “The Council is aware of the interest many local people have expressed in having a theatre, however the potential cost of converting this building added to the fact that former cinemas do not tend to make good theatres, has led us to look at other potential uses for this space.”

The council propose to replace lost parking spaces with a new multi story car park behind the bowling alley in station road.

Ashford Council will be sharing the emerging ideas for the former Mecca Bingo site at a small exhibition in Ashford Gateway from Tuesday 12 February until Friday 1 March.

More information can be found on the council website https://www.ashford.gov.uk/mecca

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