penrith cinema fundraising campaign

Last Saturday Rory launched a fundraising campaign for the Penrith Cinema by pledging to match any donations up to £1,500. He was immediately matched by local businessman Dave Harding (owner of the Angel Lane Fish and Chip shop), at a rally to save Penrith’s Lonsdale Alhambra cinema on Saturday 29th January. Dozens of others in the crowd – including Eden District Council leader, Gordon Nicolson – followed suit, raising thousands of pounds in a few minutes.

The event, attended by hundreds of supporters of the high-street cinema, brought together the Penrith and Eden community which has been given a deadline of April 30th to raise funds of £750,000 to buy the property, currently owned by Graves (Cumberland) Ltd.

Rory spoke again of the value of the community asset and said: “Everybody here today, and many, many more all over Eden, want this to succeed. All the energy and the enthusiasm that Penrith has been showing has made all the difference. It makes a difference to the kind of deal we can get, and to the negotiations with Graves. This will be a challenging campaign, and we have a lot of money to raise, but people have been calling me up in Westminster every day with suggestions of how to make this work. There is a lot of serious practical, concrete work to be done, but let‘s make sure we can buy this asset. We mustn‘t lost the fun and energy and enthusiasm that the people of Penrith and Eden are showing each week, and it‘s because of that energy that we are now in a position to really join together, raise funds, and buy this for our community to enjoy for years to come.”

On Sunday 30th January Rory also attended a meeting of the steering group – led by  local consultant Ruth Parker, Dawn Coates of QEGS and Adrian Lochhead of Eden Arts – to help formulate the community campaign, to which Rory has also contributed support on finding an office and establishing a website.

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