Council invests £200,000 in new Peterhead cinema

The cinema complex will be located in the former Gala Bingo premises in the heart of Peterhead town centre.
The cinema complex will be located in the former Gala Bingo premises in the heart of Peterhead town centre.

Aberdeenshire Council has approved funding in support of a new £2million cinema development in the heart of Peterhead town centre.

The Stage 2 £200,000 cash injection from the council’s Property Investment Fund was awarded to Irish firm Melcorpo Property Arc Cinema Ltd by members of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) on Thursday, October 3.

A £10,000 Stage 1 grant was awarded to Melcorpo earlier this year to conduct a feasibility study into the potential cinema development at the former Gala Bingo premises on Marischal Street.

Councillors were advised that the feasibility was completed by cinema development professionals and demonstrated the long-term viability of a cinema at this site. The study concluded that a five-screen cinema could be supported by the wider marketplace of Peterhead on a sustainable basis.

It also highlighted a capital funding gap above the £100,000 limit set for the Property Investment Fund.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Economic Development, Belinda Miller, described it as a “significant opportunity” for Peterhead.

She told councillors that due to the transformational impact the development was likely to have on the town centre it was decided to recommend a larger grant award to enable the project to proceed.

Due diligence checks have been carried out on parent company Melcorpo Commercial Properties Unlimited which have proved satisfactory.

Norman Smith, chair of the Buchan Area Committee, added: “We are hugely-supportive of these plans for a multi-screen cinema in the heart of Peterhead and I look forward to seeing progress on the project in the months to come.”

Speaking as chair of the Peterhead Development Partnership, Councillor Stephen Smith said: “This is a very significant and welcome project which could be transformational for the town centre and help generate further economic activity.”

Brian Gilligan of Melcorpo said: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeenshire Council to help rejuvenate the leisure offer in Peterhead town centre.”