Boost for project to convert historic bank into a cinema

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Plans to convert an old bank in Sheffield city centre into a cinema have been welcomed by Government conservation agency English Heritage.

The agency says it is an opportunity to bring back to use an “imposing” listed building in that has not been unoccupied for a number of years.

“While proposed works will have some effect on its appearance, as they include the insertion of a cinema space within the main banking hall, it is our view that the harm caused would be less than substantial and that this is outweighed by the public benefits of securing a viable use for the building and supporting the economic viability of the city centre.”

The comments have been sent to the council, which is assessing the application by Curzon Cinemas, which specialises in art house films, for four small auditoria in the former Sheffield Banking Company at a cost about £2.5m.

One of the key issues for the council will be the effect on the listed building, and the views of English Heritage carry weight.

Curzon says its proposed development - cinemas with 66, 55 and 40 seats and a VIP auditorium on the first floor with 22 seats - can exist “side by side” with The Showroom cinema in Paternoster Row.