Members of Devizes Town Council have given their take on the future of the Palace Cinema after fears were raised over its renovation.

Wiltshire Council cast doubt over whether the iconic cinema’s owners, Picturedrome Cinemas, were intending to go ahead with a planned expansion project when they revealed the necessary plans had still not been submitted.

This was despite the deadline for a decision on the planning application passing nine months ago.

But after meeting with a representative from Picturedrome on Monday, February 13, town clerk Simon Fisher and councillors Chris Gay and Marina Holt are confident the company are invested in the town and the venue.

Cllr Chris Gay said: “As far as I’m concerned the message from the cinema’s owners is all good and they are definitely working for the people because they like Devizes.

“I’ve lived much of my life in Devizes and I used to visit the Palace as an 11-year-old. So, from a personal point of view, the Palace is a very valuable asset to the town. The progress all seems very positive.”

Writing on Facebook, Cllr Holt went into more detail about the cause of the delays.

She said: “Picturedome have made a major investment in Devizes by buying and restoring this beautiful building to its former glory using local contractors.

“They were very keen to pass on that they have not, and will not, abandon the project.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic and global issues causing a rise in inflation have slowed progress, so there is not currently an opening date, but they are planning to reopen and obviously want to do this as soon as possible so they can start trading and entertain the people of Devizes once again.

“I fully support this project and, whilst I share everyone’s frustration with the delays, I really hope that we can support this community asset”.

While town councillors have been assured the cinema will reopen following renovations, planning permission has still not been granted for a proposed second storey to the building.

Picturedrome owner Adam Cunard hoped this would act as a rehearsal and changing area, to allow live acts to perform alongside the single screen cinema, while the capacity would increase to 534.

On Tuesday, February 7, Cllr Nick Boterill claimed Wiltshire Council had not received the necessary information to make a decision on this application.

He said: “We don’t have any information on why there is a delay on the applicant’s side and if they are still planning to go ahead.”