Waltham Forest Council will breathe life back into an important cultural and heritage venue in the borough with new owners of the Regal Cinema in Highams Park, Mammoth Capital.
In March 2018, Waltham Forest Council approved a planning application to redevelop the Regal Cinema on Hale End Road in Highams Park. The application includes two new cinema screens, restoration of the building’s façade and entrance in keeping with the history and heritage of the town centre, a café/bar and 30 new homes.
Mammoth Capital are holding discussions with The Rio Cinema to ensure this important cultural and heritage venue is returned to its former glory. Mammoth Capital do not intend to make significant alterations to the existing plans with enabling works set to begin early 2019 with an anticipated 18 month delivery programme.
Three years ago Waltham Forest had no cinemas. The Council delivered Empire Cinemas as part of The Scene development in Walthamstow’s High Street in 2015, making it a cultural destination for residents and visitors. With the Granada EMD announcement in February 2018 and the Regal Cinema there are set to be three entertainment venues in Waltham Forest.
Councillor Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets said: “Breathing life back into the Regal Cinema is part of the Council’s wider regeneration plans for Highams Park: to develop a quality leisure offer and strengthen its position as a desirable place to live and visit. It is fitting that this work will begin as we embark on a spectacular year as London’s first Borough of Culture in 2019. Having an entertainment venue like this will help to support a thriving night time economy in the north of the borough.”
“This project will be a terrific boost for Highams Park. The area already has a strong sense of community, and regeneration of the Cinema will see it further develop into a small but important independent-led cultural centre.”
“It’s been a real journey to get the Regal Cinema to where it is and we appreciate the work previous owner Ricky Gardezi and team have undertaken to get us to this point. We are delighted that new owners Mammoth Capital share our aspirations to reopen this much-loved film venue and I am confident with their experience in delivering high quality cultural projects that we will see a first class venue restored to its former glory.”
Bal Chima, Managing Director of Mammoth Capital said: “Growing up in East London and having seen and been involved in its evolution from a once undesirable area to a magnet for young professionals has been intriguing and enjoyable. We jumped at the opportunity to develop a historic landmark within the heart of an increasingly cosmopolitan Highams Park.”
Ricky Gardezi, local businessman and previous owner of the building said: “We have worked on the Regal development for nearly five years and with other business commitments we felt it was the right time to hand the reins over to an experienced developer who is able to achieve our vision for the Regal and Highams Park. Mammoth Capital with their experience are the perfect fit to oversee and complete the project through to its successful completion. I look forward to being at the Regal on opening night!’
The historic Regal Cinema is an important locally-listed asset which the Council is keen to see restored to its former glory and re-opened as a cinema after 50 years as part of an independent-led cultural centre to bring new life to the area and its evening economy.
The Regal building opened in 1911 as the Highams Park Electric Theatre, before closing as a cinema in 1971. This regeneration project is a key element of wider plans for the area that will ensure first-class cultural infrastructure for residents and visitors in Highams Park.
Source: UK Innovation Corridor