COUNCILLORS have given the go-ahead for the operators of Leven’s Regent Cinema to make an application to the town’s Common Good Fund for money to buy the struggling Commercial Road venue.
The news comes just one week after Mail reported Leven Community Cinema was on the brink of shutting down due to its coffers being strangled from having to pay rent to the building’s owner Raphael Properties.
The invitation is likely to be welcomed by the cinema group, which thought a successful application to the fund would be unlikely – with the London-based firm setting the asking price too high at around £150,000.
However, Raphael Properties has showed its hand by setting a minimum asking price of just £110,000 for the building at a recent auction, where it failed to sell, meaning the possibility of using the Common Good Fund is back on the table.
Councillor David Alexander told the Mail he has been speaking with new Levenmouth area committee chair, Cllr Tom Adams, and said the pair believe a deal may now be possible.
He continued: “In reality if it wasn’t for the £10,000 rent they would be viable.
“This is a fantastic community venue for Levenmouth and I think there is a case for the cinema being bought by the Common Good Fund.
“The asking price appears to be much closer to the district valuer’s valuation of the cinema now so it’s not impossible, with a proper business plan that is fully approved by Fife Council, that an application can be made to Leven Common Good Fund.”
However, Cllr Alexander warned that even if a price was agreed and a business plan was approved there would be no guarantees of a positive outcome from a Common Good Fund application.
He added: “The people who have got the final say will be the Levenmouth area committee, but that has to be with full consultation of the people in Leven because it is their Common Good Fund.”
Meanwhile the cinema has had is coffers boosted to the tune of £4900 after councillors approved an application to the Leven Area Fund.