An extraordinary story…

Since the UCKG have missed their opportunity in the High Court to challenge the government’s decision to refuse them planning permission we understand attempts are being made to negotiate an eventual sale of the cinema.

There is no timetable in place to do this and it’s expected to be a lengthy process. Although the cinema has been closed for 10 years, the people of St Albans have been without their one for 18 years – however, in Spring 2014 it is due to re-open as a revived 1930’s picture palace – so there is plenty of hope for our cause! Read about the St Albans Odeon story here

From one extraordinary story to another…

Save Walthamstow Cinema and The McGuffins have been working with Charles S.P. Jenkins, author of which celebrates the fascinating world of the UK capital.

Charles, a former East End resident, has delved deep into the life of our cinema to produce a colourful and amusing tribute to this beautiful building, which he has dedicated to the supporters of it – ie. YOU.

Packed with rarely seen images, from opening night in 1930 to the gala last night in 2003, this could be the definitive story of the Granada Walthamstow. Read and see it all here

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UCKG planning appeals REJECTED

We’re delighted to confirm that planning appeals to convert the EMD cinema into a UCKG Helpcentre with community use/cinema provision have been dismissed by the government and planning permission has been refused.

This follows agreement by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government of the planning inspectorate’s  recommendation to refusal UCKG’s appeals.

The Planning Inspectorate’s full report is here: 13-05-22 Hoe St Comb DL-IR-CN

UCKG have six weeks to challenge the decision in the High Court. Waltham Forest Council pledged last year to consider a compulsory purchase of the cinema should UCKG refuse to negotiate selling it to Waltham Forest Cinema Trust in the event of these appeals being rejected.

Reports covering the decision and response from cinema supporters and the UCKG are here:

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EMD film report

The Planning Inspectorate is due to make their recommendation to Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP on UCKG’s planning appeals this May.

While we await his decision and find out if the Communities Secretary upholds or rejects it, here’s a short film and article by Alan Selby, interviewing Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and Bill Hodgson of the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust and McGuffin Film Society.

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2012 in review

A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in the campaign this year. The site received 8,600 views in 2012. The busiest day of the year was September 4th with 492 views and the most popular post that day was Officers recommend UCKG plans are rejected. Yay! Our visitors come not only from the UK but also the United States and Australia! Happy New Year to everyone!

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Message from Waltham Forest Cinema Trust


Now that the Planning Inquiry has finished hearing evidence, WFCT would like to thank the very many people who contributed to our part of the process – outlining the exciting vision for a 21st century entertainment venue in this historic building.

The Inquiry itself was a real test of the viability of those plans and they came through some tough scrutiny looking more robust than ever. Indeed, during the Inquiry we obtained a firm offer of £2m loan financing which would enable us to secure the building and move to a ‘first phase’ refurbishment to re-open the doors with a limited programme. This is a major step forward as our vision now have the cash to back it up.

Amongst those we would like to acknowledge are:

–          Soho Theatre, our lead partner, who underwrote WFCT’s legal costs and whose ongoing support makes the business plan viable

–          Curzon Cinemas who have brought great professionalism and a passion for cinema

–          Sadie Frost and Andrew Green who will be an important part of the future and have helped us to secure the offer of loan funding

–          Ian Ritchie Architects, our award-winning architects, who have put together a fantastic scheme; Richard Oyarzabal, Graham Devlin and Bryan Savery for their work on the business planning and all our witnesses.

–          Arts Council England and the London Borough of Waltham Forest for showing the belief to fund the feasibility studies.

–          The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Rep Theatre and colleagues within the arts world who will bring educational and artistic projects to the new Granada.

–          Our legal team who worked very hard to present our case so well.

–          Above all, the local people, businesses, politicians and campaigners who have given wholehearted support to our plans.

The next steps for the Inquiry will be more work from the Planning Inspector and a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, who is expected to make a decision in late Spring 2013.

At WFCT, we will take a short break before regrouping early in the New Year to further develop our plans towards securing and financing the purchase of this historic building.

We will also have more to say about our vision for the Granada, what the programme will look like and how it will work. We’re keen to share this with all supporters of the campaign – and, if they exist, any doubters – and we want to make sure we hear your thoughts about what you’d like to see there.

Meantime, thank you again. Seasonal greetings and a very Happy New Year from all of us at Waltham Forest Cinema Trust; let’s hope that 2013 is a memorable year for the Walthamstow Granada.


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Council agrees in principal to buy cinema

Waltham Forest Council’s senior councillors have agreed in principal to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) which could force UCKG to sell the EMD. This is crucially dependant on UCKG losing both their planning Appeals and then refusing to agree to sell the building.

It is a positive step and one that has been made possible since the formation of Waltham Forest Cinema Trust which itself came about thanks to the tireless and dedicated support from so many cinema campaigners over the years,  and especially the local community in Waltham Forest.

Read UCKG’s reaction to a CPO here

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Last day to save Walthamstow

Apologies to everyone who is getting campaign fatigue but did you know the Boundary Commission plans to abolish Walthamstow as a constituency? This could mean the loss of many councillors who have supported the restoration of the cinema, not to mention our tireless MP.

Today is the last day to object to these plans. But don’t worry, the Our Walthamstow campaign has a very easy to use online letter generator. It sets out the main points and allows you change or add your own. Please, if you can, take a few minutes to make a difference and go to the Our Walthamstow letter generator. You will also find more about the campaign including a video shot in the Rose and Crown pub.

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