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Lochaber Cinema Group (LCG) has received £7,500 to help to convert two former retail units in Fort William town centre into a cinema seating 160 people.
The cash, from the Scottish Land Fund, will support stage one of the project which will see architects draw up plans for the site, then a public consultations will be carried out.
Group chairwoman Marie MacPherson said the funding was a ‘massive step towards a Lochaber cinema’.
She told the Lochaber Times that stage-two funding could be secured later this year if in the next six months the group has enough evidence to support the project.
She said: ‘Stage two would cover 95 per cent of the money we need to buy unit five and six, about £175,000, so we would still be about £5,000 short but we are looking into other funding streams such as LEADER.’
In the next two to three months, Ms MacPherson said LCG would hold the first of many public consultations, adding: ‘I want to get the architects to draw up plans so we are able to show people to give them a better idea of what we are going to do.’
Last month the group started a children’s film club. Films are now being shown every Saturday in Kilmallie Community Centre, Caol Youth Centre, the Buzz Project’s Studio Two on the High Street, and the Leven Centre.
The group is now looking for more volunteers to get involved with the children’s club to help with the running of the screenings.
To find out more about LCG head to its Facebook page.