Michael Fabricant helped commission a new two-screen independent cinema being built at Barton Marina after securing support from the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP and the Growing Places Fund.
The Red Carpet Cinema is an independent cinema and café focusing on intelligent mainstream and art house films at Barton Marina near Barton-under-Needwood in the Lichfield Parliamentary constituency. Set to open in August and create 32 jobs, the cinema is the brainchild of Kate and Ian Silverwood. The couple turned to the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) via East Staffordshire Borough Council after being turned down for finance from the mainstream lenders to make their dream come true.
Kate explained: “Despite having run businesses for more than 20 years between us, having the security for the loan and a business plan that every bank praised, we were turned down time after time.
“This has been a dream of ours for more than five years which, at times, looked like it wouldn’t happen. It has taken the support from the Growing Places Fund to be able to get this off the ground. Not only are we creating jobs with this venture, but we will also be boosting the offer of Barton Marina, which already has 500,000 visitors per year.”
The GBSLEP has already provided £7.1m of funding to support ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects that create jobs, with a further £10m of projects in the pipeline and the Growing Places Fund exists to kick start development projects that had stalled as a result of difficulties accessing finance.
Michael Fabricant MP, whose Lichfield constituency includes Barton Marina, said: “The Red Carpet will be a fantastic addition to the cultural scene in this part of Staffordshire and I am looking forward to it opening in August.
“This will be the only cinema in the Lichfield constituency though I am hoping one will open in Lichfield before too many more years will have elapsed!
“I have been keen to support Kate and Ian Silverwood in this project over the years and am delighted to see the planning and funding issues have now been overcome.
“The architecture of the cinema is in keeping with the area and I am pleased it was constructed by a local firm of builders, RJK Construction from Alrewas. The support by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership shows how Government investment is reaching companies, creating jobs and growth.”
Cllr Richard Grosvenor, GBSLEP Board Director and Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help Kate and Ian with their project which found itself a victim of lending restrictions.
“We are keen to do everything we can to help, both through the LEP and the Borough Council, to support businesses and the Growing Places Fund is an excellent way to do this.”
The building work on the Red Carpet Cinema was delivered by RJK Construction of Alrewas, quantity surveying by Wakemans and the Growing Places Funding administered by Finance Birmingham.
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP was one of the first to be approved by Government and encompasses 1.9million people and over 800,000 jobs. It contributes £34bn GVA to the economy. LEPs are led by businesses and local authorities across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership required to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their areas. There are currently 39 agreed partnerships across England. Together these cover around 51 million people or 99% of England’s population, 99% of businesses and 99% of all employee jobs (approx. 23 million employees).
Visit the Red Carpet Cinema website at www.redcarpetcinema.co.uk.
Photograph shows the cinema in the final stages of construction and from left to right: Richard Kirkland – RJK Construction; Clive Broadhurst – Finance Birmingham; Cllr Richard Grosvenor – Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council; Michael Fabricant MP for Lichfield; John Woodall – Wakemans; Kate Silverwood – Owner of the Red Carpet Cinema; Paul Heaven – Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.