New Acton Community Cinema Nets £1,000 Grant Ahead of Big Switch-On

A community scheme to create a new cinema in Acton has moved a step closer to completion after the project received a £1,000 grant from London’s leading decorating and DIY specialists.

Acton Arts Project, a Community Interest Company, has become one of the first winners of the 2021 Give London a Lift campaign hosted by Leyland SDM, which has 30 stores across the capital.

Leyland SDM, which has a store on Cowley Road in Acton, is running the materials giveaway competition for a second year to help community groups, organisations and charities.

There are 10 prizes of £1,000 in-store credit to be won through Give London a Lift – which is being backed by former England and Arsenal footballer Paul Merson – between now and October.

Acton Arts Project was formed by residents in 2018 with the aim of maintaining the use of the old library – which was based on Acton High Street and closed four years earlier – as a community hub.

The group, which secured a 24-year-lease on the building from Ealing London Borough Council, decided to build a cinema which is just weeks away from opening.

Amanda Mason, one of eight directors of Acton Arts Project, said: “We are thrilled to be a Give London A Lift winner and the timing of the Leyland SDM credit couldn’t be better.

“The building is all but finished and we are putting the important finishing touches to it so we will be spending our Leyland SDM credit on items such as paint and Polyfilla.

“It’s going to make a huge difference to our project and it’s fantastic that Leyland SDM is supporting such causes, particularly after the problems caused by the pandemic over the last 18 months.”

Amanda revealed the project to build a cinema – which will be called Act One – has been a real community effort.

She added: “The old library was a focal point for the community and, when it closed, we were determined not to lose that hub.

“We have had over 100 local residents volunteering to carry out the work and there has been a great community spirit around the cinema.

“The initial plan was to construct a two-screen cinema but, due to the social restrictions imposed by coronavirus, that hasn’t been possible.

“We have a pop-up cinema which will house 60 people and have a bar and a café ready to open in late August or early September, and the longer-term vision remains to build that larger and enhanced facility.”

Paul Gerreli, marketing director at Leyland SDM, said: “We launched Give London a Lift last year and it was a huge success so, with communities still recovering from the pandemic fallout, we are offering groups and charities a similar opportunity in 2021.

“The Acton Arts Project is a fantastic scheme and the cinema will make a real difference at the heart of the community – exactly the kind of scheme Give London A Lift was designed to support.

“Our team at Leyland SDM Acton is working with the organisation to advise on the best products and to make the budget stretch as far as possible.”

Give London a Lift is running until the end of October.

Organisations can apply online each month, detailing why they believe they would by worthy recipients of the £1,000, and winners will be chosen by a team of judges.

The money can be spent on anything from paint to tools and electrical wiring to plumbing parts.

Applications can be made on the Leyland SDM website

Leyland SDM has become one of the most recognisable and trusted decorating and DIY retail brands in central London with stores in some of the capital’s most prominent locations.