Council backs Torch opposition to 'master plan' multiplex

COMPETITION FEARS: The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven. PICTURE: Milford Mercury

COMPETITION FEARS: The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven. PICTURE: Milford Mercury

First published in News

THE Torch Theatre is seeking local support in its fight to prevent a new cinema being built in Milford Haven.

The theatre is objecting to plans by the Port of Milford Haven to build a multiplex cinema as part of its ‘master plan’ for Milford Docks.

In a letter to Port chief executive Alec Don, chairman of the Torch’s board of management Dr Carol Mackintosh has expressed concern over ‘continued references’ to a new cinema as part of the proposed development.

The letter continues: “While in many respects we welcome the proposals for major investment contained in your application... the siting and scale of the proposed multiplex cinema has serious implication for the Torch and the important role it plays in the community.

“Despite our meetings to discuss these concerns and our willingness to engage with the Port on these matters, the points we have raised with you appear to have gone unheard.”

The Torch has also sent a specially commissioned report to the head of planning at County Hall, outlining the theatre’s objections.

Since investing almost £100,000 in digital and 3D-movie technology in 2012, the Torch has gone from strength to strength, says the report.

The report says that allowing a new cinema into the Docks area will “risk not only the considerable capital that has been invested” but also the annual grants and sponsorship packages that help keep the theatre alive.

It goes on to say that engagement with the Port has not produced evidence to support the need for another cinema, and “does not appear to engage in any way with the regeneration of the town and could in fact be argued s turning its back on the local community”.

At a meeting of full council on Monday (July 28), town councillors voted to support the Torch’s objection.

Cllr John Cole said the Port’s plans were “pie in the sky”, but if they were to go ahead could seriously jeopardise the Torch’s future.

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