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The Tower Cinema and Arts Centre in Sinclair Street, Helensburgh.

By Democrat reporter

The Tower cinema and entertainment complex in Helensburgh has announced plans to expand its facilities by adding a fourth screen – along with a function suite and bar.

Based in the former St Columba’s Parish Church on Sinclair Street, it has been open since 2016, operated by local charity The Tower Digital Arts Centre.

Having gone from strength to strength as the only cinema in the town, the centre’s operators now want to build an extension which would accommodate a fourth auditorium.

Teaching workshops are also part of the plans, which have been submitted to Argyll and Bute Council’s planning department by Glasgow architects Honeyman Jack and Robertson on behalf of the charity.

A decision on whether or not the extension, which would also host new toilet facilities, can go ahead is expected from the authority by mid-April.

In a statement published on the council’s website, the architects say: “To achieve a sustainable cinema operation it is considered essential to have a total of four screens.

“Funding support has been indicated for the development of STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education.

“The current toilets, kitchen and ancillary facilities are inadequate for the current and future use of the building.

“It is proposed to demolish a single-storey section of the building to the rear of the Hall. This part of the building is of no great character.

 “The proposed extension will accommodate an entrance foyer, a bar, auditorium four, a function suite, teaching workshops and toilets.

“The extension will complement the existing facilities to link the existing and proposed uses and provide adequate toilet and ancillary facilities with the aim of achieving a financially sustainable operation for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors to the town.

“The proposed extension will have level access at the entrance and level access links to the existing facilities.”

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