THE charity responsible for bringing back an iconic Scottish cinema has been granted funding to purchase the building following a successful bid to the Scottish Land Fund.

The Broadway Cinema in Prestwick originally opened in 1935 but has now been shut for almost 20 years.

Friends of the Broadway is working to redevelop the building as a multi-purpose entertainment venue.

The group’s chairman Guy Walker said: “Bringing back the Broadway started as a dream held by a committed group of Prestwick residents.

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“Today that dream came true. The building will be owned by the community. And we are ‘bringing the Broadway back’ for everyone who said they would love to see films here again.

“Over the years people have asked us what’s happening with the building, and expressed their wish for something for young and older people to do in the town – well this is our Christmas present to you.”

The Scottish Land Fund has awarded the charity the majority of the purchase price, with building owner Buzzworks Group contributing a significant six-figure discount to allow it to pass into community ownership.

Buzzworks chairman Colin Blair said: “We are proud to support Friends of the Broadway and hope this further significant financial contribution will allow the group to continue its vital work in preserving this historic building, while creating an amenity for the community of Prestwick to enjoy for years to come.”

The Scottish Land Fund also awarded a further £50,000 for immediate essential maintenance and further funding to hire a project development officer to drive forward the next phases of renovation.

The National:

The cinema (above) originally seated more than 1000 people and large parts of the building remain unchanged.

The last film was shown in 1976 before it was put to many uses including as a leisure centre and amusement arcade.

The charity intends to restore the building to its original purpose in partnership with architects Burrell Foley Fischer, who specialise in heritage cinema and theatre design.