FRESH doubt has been cast over the future of Devizes' historic cinema.

Wiltshire Council claims it no longer sure if the Palace Cinema's owners are still planning to complete the extensive renovations locals were promised.

The cinema, which has been a staple of the Market Place for more than a century, has been closed since 2020 for renovations.

Picturedrome Cinemas, a chain with seven locations across the country, bought the Palace in 2019.

At the time, managing director Adam Cunard promised a £200,000 makeover of the building and “excellent value” for customers.

Mr Cunard submitted a planning application to add a second storey to the rear of the cinema, which was intended to act as a rehearsal area for live acts and would have incorporated a roof terrace, on March 10, 2022.

But the deadline for a decision on the planning application, May 17, 2022, came and went with no sign of movement.

Wiltshire Council have now revealed they are still waiting for Mr Cunard to provide them with the information required to move forwards with the application, ten months after the consultation deadline, plunging the plans into uncertainty.

Cllr Nick Botterill, the cabinet member for development management, said: “We don’t have any information on why there is a delay on the applicant’s side or if they are still planning to go ahead. 

“We are currently awaiting some revised plans and clarification on materials, but this has not yet been received. 

“We need this information in order to be able to determine the application, so it is difficult to say when a decision will be made.”

The application proposed a roof terrace, additional space for live acts while the single screen cinema is in use and an increase in seating to take the capacity to 534.

Mr Cunard claimed this would: “Maximise the building’s diversity to enhance local interest, in cinema and theatre, and bring more public interest to the shops, restaurants and public houses”.

Picturedrome also planned to restore the building’s original features, including the repurposing of the stage and fly tower for live theatre.

The Palace was one of 200 independent cinemas across the country to receive support from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

It was granted a share of £126,458 for cinemas in the south west and Mr Cunard hoped this would allow the venue to open in the Spring of 2021.

Picturedrome and Mr Cunard could not be reached for comment. Its other venues remain open.