Plans for a multi-million pound community cinema and restaurant have been revealed for a former brewery site.

Bosses at Harveys Brewery has sold its vacant depot site in Pinwell Road to a charity hoping to build a four-screen cinema, creating jobs in the process.

The 760 square metre site was snapped up for an “undisclosed sum” this week by the newly-founded Lewes Community Screen group.

The building will trade under the name ‘Depot Cinema’ and will host mainstream films, art movies, special interest exhibitions and special screenings for the elderly and disabled.

One of the group’s representatives, Robert Senior, predicted the new complex would cost between “two to three million pounds” and would be open by summer 2014.

He said: “We hope to get involved with local colleges, schools and maybe even some of the media courses at the universities to offer students a chance to come to the venue and gain some experience.

“Their enthusiasm would be most welcomed. We can work with businesses too by being available to host conferences and business events and would like to invite local film makers and producers to screen their work.

“There are endless possibilities associated with the new cinema and that’s what makes it exciting.

“It would be ideal to become a focal point for film screenings in Lewes, as I think the town is lacking something in that area at the moment.”

Three-year project

New full-time vacancies are set to include a cinema manager and restaurant manager, with other unpaid positions available for a number of students and volunteers.

Miles Jenner, joint managing director at Harveys, said he was delighted the charity purchased the site and fully supported the cinema development.

He added: “It marks the culmination of a three-year project and we are assuring residents they’ll be thoroughly consulted before a planning application is submitted.”

Planning applications for the development will be submitted to Lewes District Council in May.

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