An original art deco theatre and cinema hall constructed in 1913 is to be brought into community ownership following a grant of £249,405.

The funding, from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is announced on the eve of The Selsey Pavilion’s 110th birthday.

The grant has been awarded to the Selsey Pavilion Trust towards the purchase of the building, and will allow the charity to unlock its Community Ownership Fund grant, awarded in March. On completed plans it will become a community arts and heritage centre

The funding will also support a part-time community outreach role and new community-led heritage projects. The Selsey Pavilion Trust will now appoint solicitors to start working on the purchase of the building and plans to achieve acquisition by the end of the year.

Plans for The Selsey Pavilion (Selsey Pavilion Trust)

The building was a multi-purpose entertainment venue and historically held community events and famous performers, including Nijinska’s Russian Ballet, Nelson Keys and Bransby Williams. After the Second World War, the Pavilion became a full-time cinema and hosted seasonal pantomimes before closing in the mid-70s.

Chair of the Selsey Pavilion Trust, Christian Skelton, said: “Our journey to bring the Pavilion into community ownership is nearly complete, thanks to National Lottery players. And our dream of creating a vibrant community arts and heritage centre for Selsey is a huge step closer to reality!”

Stuart McLeod, Director of England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to, which is why we are proud to support the Selsey Pavilion Trust with this project. It will bring this building back to life for its community, by its community.”

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