A five-screen Peterhead cinema development has been given a £200,000 boost by Aberdeenshire Council.
The local authority announced the funding last night in support of plans to bring the former Gala Bingo Hall on Marischal Street back into use.
Irish firm Melcorpo Property Arc Cinema has taken on the challenge of creating a £2 million cinema in the building, creating 15 jobs.
Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee agreed to delve into the authority’s property investment fund to help make the project a reality.
The pot of money is a tool the council can use to assist with the delivery of its regeneration strategy, encouraging improvements to empty buildings across the region.
Committee chairman Peter Argyle said: “This project has the potential to act as a catalyst for further investment in Peterhead town centre and lever in significant private sector investment.
“This development will also help to deliver a number of outcomes within the Peterhead regeneration action plan as well as creating an additional 15 jobs within the town centre.”
Earlier this year, Melcorpo was given a £10,000 grant to conduct a study into the feasibility of a cinema on the premises.
At a meeting this week, councillors were advised that the results demonstrated the long-term viability of such a development in Peterhead.
It concluded that a five-screen cinema could be supported by the wider town.
Brian Gilligan, Melcorpo director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeenshire Council to help rejuvenate the leisure offer in Peterhead town centre.
“We are very appreciative of the great support we have received, without which this fantastic project would not be possible.”
At the meeting, councillors were also recommended to give a larger grant to enable the project to proceed as it was likely to have a “transformational impact” on the town – particularly in terms of its evening and weekend economy.
Norman Smith, chairman of the Buchan Area Committee, said: “We are hugely-supportive of these plans for a multi-screen cinema in the heart of Peterhead and I look forward to seeing progress on the project in the months to come.”
Chairman of the Peterhead Development Partnership, Stephen Smith, added: “This is a very significant and welcome project which could be transformational for the town centre and help generate further economic activity.”