VIDEO: Disused Montrose Swimming Pool to be demolished to make way for £4.2m cinema

The old swimming pool in Montrose is to be demolished to make way for a new state of the art cinema.

The group behind the £4.2 million cinema, Montrose Playhouse Project, will pay a £1 lease after Angus Council approved their application for the Community Asset Transfer of the former swimming pool on The Mall.

The group had previously planned to renovate the disused pool, which closed down in when the £9m Montrose Sports Centre opened, into a three-screen picturehouse.

The idea for the project came from architect David Paton who had dreamed of turning the run-down building into a cinema for years.

He said: “After careful consideration we have taken the decision to demolish the old pool and re-build a new purpose built cultural arts facility housing four digital cinema screens, conference space, multi-purpose rooms, rentable office space and café-bar with on-site parking.

“We took the decision to rebuild following expensive research and development of the business plan.”

“The projected cost of the project is in excess of £4.2 million and will require major fund-raising on our part, however we are confident that with hard work and dedication, we along with our many supporters can make this project come alive.

He added: “We will be granted an initial 99 year Lease at £1 per year in consideration of the huge social impact which the playhouse will make to our community.

“We will be posting our new plans on the Montrose Library notice boards from Wednesday June, 10 for a period of two weeks.”

The project started when David made conceptual designs of how he would like to turn the former swimming pool went viral on social media.

He shared the images on Facebook and within a few hours hundreds of people had liked the post and were calling for him to turn the disused facility into a cinema.

Around the same time, there were plans to turn the site into affordable housing, but there was a public outcry on Facebook with a number Montrosians saying they didn’t want more housing, they wanted a picturehouse.

The building then put up for sale but no offers were received and in October 2013 Montrose Playhouse Project submitted a stage one application for Community Asset Transfer.

There were also more than 1,000 responses to an online survey in favour of the project and overwhelming support from school pupils in another survey which was sent out to local schools.

Initial funding was awarded by First Port and the National Lottery Investing in Ideas which has enabled the group to set itself up as a registered charity, employ a specialist cinema consultant and create a website.

The plans for the new cinema have been received well with more than 370 people so far ‘liking’ the post the playhouse project shared with the news.