The goal posts have changed
The message is suddenly very simple.
We will need money from you.
For 5 years and 100 days since the Old Library on the High Street shut its doors, Ealing Council has dithered over what to do with it. It was given to Acton 120 years ago and we've fought to ensure its status as an Asset of Community Value. This limits any move to sell it off for residential use.
With a sympathetic developer we put in a good bid to buy it. No official response. After the fiasco of failing to legally sell Southall Town Hall to the highest bidder, the Council opted instead to lease the Old Library.
So we amended our plans and put in another bid. This time the Acton Arts Project proposed taking an immediate lease for two years while grant and other funds were in place. Again, no response.
Now, after several bid deadlines have come and gone - and still without any sign of a long-promised marketing spec - Ealing has put the building in the hands of an agent, HRH Retail. Another deadline of mid-July has been set.
Having not responded to our suggestion of a rent-free period, we will almost certainly have to show Ealing we can raise funds to equip and run a 2-screen cinema. We're now busy brainstorming which version of crowd-funding is our best way forward. None of the other community cinema/arts hubs we've looked at has done it without asking their community to put some money where their hopes are.
We're heading towards 5,000 supporters. And 2,000 days since this treasure of a building last opened its doors to the public it was gifted to. We want it back. Please be prepared to help us get there.
Our homepage video zips through all the films you could have seen since in the Old Library since its closure. Of all the potential uses for it, only the Acton Arts Project addresses the need to revive the High Street and the night-time economy.
Local architects are working for us gratis to come up with drawings. The Independent Cinema Office is advising us. We're in advanced talks with possible cinema partners. Our MP Rupa Huq is on our side. So too is Acton BID, the organisation representing 600 local businesses.
We have a lot going for us.
But we will need start-up money.
Watch this space.
And, please - get ready to put your hand in your pocket!