The Visitor: £1 Million For Scala

ONE of the biggest ever funding contributions from a town council looks set to breathe life into an under-threat cinema development. At a private meeting last week, Prestatyn councillors unanimously pledged to contribute up to £1 million from the town’s coffers towards the beleaguered Scala project.

However, the move depends on whether Denbighshire County Council, at a crucial meeting on November 21, choose to support the £3.4 million scheme. If they decide to scrap plans for the facility, then £1.5 million in Assembly grants could be lost. Other sources will be targetted for the remainder required.

“It’s an absolutely huge contribution,” said Prestatyn town clerk Nigel Acott. “Having said that, it does spark a bit of a renaissance in the role of the town council, as it shows we are willing to invest amounts like that.”

He revealed the money would come from a loan taken out either through the public works board or from a bank, offset by the town’s assets, which include four community centres.

The authority already has around £100,000 saved, but will need to fund the rest primarily through its council tax precept.

“It is definitely the biggest contribution I know of in Wales, certainly for this type of development,” said Mr Acott.”But it depends on what happens at this meeting on November 21. Denbighshire will decide whether they will support the scheme, and, if so, determine how much they are going to put towards it.”

Friends of the Scala chairwoman Sandra Pitt was delighted by the news.

“We are not greedy – we were all happy with the Scala we had before, it was the council who wanted to elaborate on it,” she said. “All the people wanted – and still want – is a facility for the town.”

Mayor Sharon Frobisher added:

“Whilst many people may have concerns about the potential impact on council tax, the sums amount to less than 17p per week per household.

“In return they will have a tremendous multi-purpose community facility with digital cinema, meeting rooms, cafe, theatre and display area.”