It was great to visit the Regal Theatre in Stowmarket recently to hear about the exciting plans to renovate what is a popular local theatre and cinema and growing attraction. I had an interesting time seeing everything from the projection suite to enjoying a cup of coffee and their great cakes.
The multi-million pound plans include creating two new cinema screens, as well as refurbishing the main auditorium, expanding the foyer and café and improving disabled access. Admissions have grown to about 70,000 a year due to the hard work of David and his team and the new plans could see this grow even further. It is also expected to lead to the creation of 10 to 20 new jobs.
We all know the pressures that our high streets and town centres are under, particularly ones that have a mainly retail offering. Part of the answer to making them sustainable is to attract people to our town centres by making them destinations. What better way to do this than by redeveloping a popular and successful local cinema that opened in 1936!
Stowmarket is an important driver of prosperity across Mid Suffolk, being not only the biggest town in Mid Suffolk but also one of the fastest growing towns in our region. I was therefore proud to support a bid made by Mid Suffolk District Council to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. If successful, the funding will enable the unlocking of additional support and investment into the town centre. This, in turn, would encourage private investment into Stowmarket, giving a boost to local businesses and leading to greater retail and leisure offerings at the heart of the growing community.
I hope the strategic investment in sites like the Regal Theatre can be a catalyst for further investment in Stowmarket. These exciting plans have my full support.
Jo Churchill MP