The transformation of a former Welsh chapel into a boutique cinema, theatre and restaurant will be completed in readiness for the building’s 140th anniversary, it has been confirmed.
Libanus 1877 at Borth, Ceredigion will be the first cinema of its kind to open in Wales for many years with owners Peter Fleming and partner Grug Morris wanting it to form part of a revival of the Mid Wales coastal town.
The transformation of the building has been undertaken by Mid Wales building designers and planning consultants Hughes Architects, with building and refurbishment work being undertaken by Mr Fleming and sub-contractors.
“We’re well on the way to completing the conversion and opening Libanus 1877 by spring 2017, just in time for the 140th anniversary of the building of the chapel,” said Mr Fleming.
“We’re ensuring attention to detail throughout and once completed we believe it will be a significant destination for visitors and local people to Borth from a wide area.”
Indeed, Mr Fleming believes the mix of cinema and restaurant will attract people from the West Midlands and beyond to stay in the area.
Gareth Flynn, based at Hughes Architects Aberystwyth office, said it was exciting to see the project developing. “We’ve attempted to transform Peter and Grug’s passion and ideas into something that is both in keeping with the building’s heritage while creating a modern twist.
“We’ve designed a first floor glass enclosed veranda on the front, created a new auditorium and various rooms and areas for guests while ensuring the original features of the chapel are maintained throughout.”
The couple plan to open in the cinema in February with an official launch in March when the chapel building will celebrate its 140th anniversary.
New employment will be created in the town through the new venture, as well as attracting visitors and raising the profile of Borth as a destination, including the use of the Cambrian Railway which links the town to the Midlands through to Aberystwyth.