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No nightclub for one of Kingston’s largest venues

By River Reporter Mar 21, 2013

‘Not another nightclub’ promise developers of Kingston’s former bingo hall despite the possibility of Oceana losing their appeal this May.

Zoe Birdsall

Developers have promised that they will not turn one of Kingston’s largest venues into another nightclub, despite the previous owner’s plans to do so.

Restored to its original glory

Developers CNM Estates have scrapped old plans for the 100-year-old grade-two listed building on Richmond Road. They have revealed new plans to restore it to its original glory, creating a multifunctional arts and business centre in the community as well as residential flats.

Spokesman, Kevin Davis, said: “We can categorically say it will not be a nightclub. Firstly, there have been restrictions put on this area by the council. Secondly, why would we build luxury apartments above this type of venue and expect people to want to live there?”

Auditorium for “ballet and opera” 
KU graduates, Conran architect Nathan Zaver and CNM property developer Emily King, are working on the project, which is expected to open in early 2015.

Provisional plans have revealed that the building, which started life as a regal cinema and then became a Gala Bingo, is likely to include a 900-seat auditorium for “performances like ballet and opera” or an arts-cinema.

Mr Davis said it is “very unlikely” that they will create a live music venue despite a large demand from KU students. 
Something the community will use
He said: “It cannot turn into anything that would compromise the apartments above, which have to happen to fund the rest of the project.”
James Robson, associate director at CNM, explained: “It has to be viable and sustainable. It also needs to be something the community will use.”
CNM recently held a workshop to gather feedback about their plans. 
At this stage the developers are to continue discussions with architects, the community and English Heritage about the future of the building and CNM will be taking proposals to Kingston Council at a later date.

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