Makeover for Castleford derelict Picture House cinema

22 November 2022

A proposal by a private developer to renovate the derelict former Picture House cinema on Station Road has received praise from Wakefield Council.

Cabinet member for regeneration Cllr Darren Byford has called it “brilliant news” and said that the Council had long identified it as a building for priority action and it was good to see things moving forward.

A planning application, by private developers, is before the planning authority to convert the building into 25 luxury apartments, which will have access to a gym and cinema room, and three ground floor retail units.

“The proposal for the Picture House is brilliant news for Castleford. While the Council had identified the building as a long-term priority for action, this private sector involvement means change can happen much more quickly,” said Cllr Byford, adding “if approved, the refit will complement our own projects that are planned for other parts of the town to help build an exciting future for everyone who lives in, works in, or visits Castleford.”

Officers from the Council’s regeneration team have been working closely with the developer and ward councillors to ensure that the proposals fit with the emerging strategy for Castleford and will bring the building back into effective use.

Known as the Strategic Regeneration Framework, the plan provides a long-term route map for the development of the town that will guide the efforts of public and private sector developers in the town in the coming decades.

The Picture House, one of several key buildings identified in the SRF, sits at a key town centre gateway and is an important local landmark.

The development, if approved, will give the Picture House a new and important role in the Castleford of the future.

The 1,200-seat cinema and ballroom was opened in 1921 and closed in 1964.

The premises were later used for other businesses and housed a restaurant, bingo hall, cafe bar, pub and nightclub.

A fire in 2017 gutted the building and it was sold at auction earlier this year.

The public can view plans for the building by searching for 22/01712/FUL through the Council’s planning portal, leaving comments if they feel the need to do so.

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