Abingdon Town Council have agreed a deal that will see the Abbey Cinema continue to show films, live screenings and other events for the next two years.
Following extensive and detailed negotiations, a new two-year lease was signed by representatives of the Town Council and the Abbey Cinema on Wednesday 27 September, following a short town council meeting.
The Abbey Cinema will continue to operate for two years until the end of August 2025, at which point the building will be closed for a major refurbishment.
Leader of Abingdon Town Council, Cllr Jim Halliday said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree this deal. Councillors have consistently said that we want a cinema to continue in Abingdon, and we’ve put a lot of time and effort in to get this deal across the line.”
“We have also ensured that the agreement is good value for local taxpayers. The Abbey Cinema will continue to pay a fair rent for the building whilst we also recognise the good work they do for the local community.”
“As I said at the special Town Council meeting we held in May, I am a passionate believer that there should be a cinema in Abingdon, so I am very pleased we have come to an agreement.”
The cinema will need to close in September 2025 to allow for an extensive refurbishment of the building. The Town Council will be investing a significant amount of money on the building and roof to bring it up to standard including significantly improving its energy efficiency.
The time between now and then will be used to make detailed plans for the refurbishment so that the closure can be as short as possible. The time will also be used to agree how the building will be managed in the long term, after the refurbishment. The aim is to agree long term cinema provision.
Town Council Leader Cllr Jim Halliday, Ian Wiper and Sue Wiper of The Abbey Cinema, and the Mayor, Cllr Gwyneth Lewis OBE, sign the two year cinema lease agreement.