A series of successful events by the Byron Project is helping to raise the profile of the group as well as boost funds.
The social enterprise not-for- profit organisation has been set up to save the Byron Cinema by transforming it into a community facility.
The group are due to hear this week from Heritage Lottery which grant they can apply for which, if successful, could turn the dream into a reality.
“We are waiting to hear which category we fall into so we can apply for the right grant,” explained project chairman, Ria Cash. “Once we have the go-ahead we can put in our application and then it is a waiting game to see if we get the money.”
The building is one of only five cinemas designed by architect, Alfred J Thraves and one of 15 art deco cinemas in the country.
“We are not just about bringing the cinema back to life but about providing a facility that the whole community can enjoy,” explained Ria who has voluntarily taken on the role of project manager. “We need to get this message out to the people of Hucknall as we realise we are not going to be able to compete with the multi-plexes and we don’t want to.”
The project has started holding regular events to support the initiative and populise the venue. This has included craft fairs and Saturday markets as well as pop up film nights.
“Our events are going really well and are attracting lots of stallholders and visitors,” added Ria. “We now hold a retail market and a craft fair each month.”
The next craft fair will run on 8th March and the Saturday market on 22nd March.
And the pop up cinema events are also proving an attraction with the latest one held at Holgate Academy on 13th February which showedDirty Dancing after an online vote.
Barclays Bank at Hucknall are also supporting the venture with their High Street staff helping out at events and the business match-funding particular events.
And the owner of the Byron building is working in partnership with the project and has experienced an increase in visitors since the project was set up.
“Sri is very supportive of all we do and we keep him informed of our plans,” explained Ria.
“This project is not just about preserving an historic building but about helping Hucknall get back on its feet and getting the town’s heart beating once more.”
To keep up to date with the project visit www.thebyronproject.co.uk.