Tenterden Town Council has submitted a pre‐planning application to Ashford Borough Council for the redevelopment of The Pebbles as a cinema.
There are two possible schemes which have been developed with the agreement of Heritage England. Both plans would mean that the original Pebbles building, which is Grade II listed, would be enhanced by removing unsightly 20th century additions at the rear and by revealing the historic joinery in the original building. It would also include the possible reinstatement of the basement area into a useable public space.
The first possible scheme for the cinema would provide a ground floor foyer and cafe bar in the original building , leading out to a small covered courtyard at the rear. This would link to the two screen cinema which would be partially below ground. The roof of the cinema would provide a terrace for al fresco seating and the cafe and would have planters and a gazebo. This level would
have a staircase to the Memorial garden for all the public to use. There would also be additional access to the garden.
The second possible option is for the same layout for the original building, but this time with a large cloister garden at the rear of the building. This would provide outside seating for the cafe. The cinema part would also be also partially below ground, but less deep than Option 1. This would mean that the roof would not be accessible, but instead would be a green roof. Access to the
Memorial garden would be via the cloister area and would be available to all members of the public.
The estimated cost is £2.5 million, with TTC providing £500,000 of this figure.
The additional funds would need to be raised from other sources, including the possibility of the public buying shares or bonds in the project. The future cinema operator would also pay the cost of the fit‐out of the building.
The next stage of the project is a full feasibility study. Meanwhile the Cinema Focus Group continues to work hard towards the project’s fruition and will be working on funding sources, publicity, the project’s route map and liaison with possible operators.
If you would like to be part of the funding for the cinema will you please contact Tenterden Town Council