The Picture House Consultation 2019
Chorlton Community Land Trust surveyed its members and pledgers about potential future uses for The Picture House (the former Co-op Funeralcare building). This was with a view to restoring the building, redeveloping the site (in partnership with a commercial developer) for community use / ownership. A bid was prepared for the Stayin’ Alive project, and submitted to the Co-op, based on the consultation findings.
The top three strongly supported preferences for use were:
- Providing a place where people can meet
- Establishing a multi-purpose facility
- Retaining a local asset of community value
Further probing on the purpose for the building produced the following preferred objectives
- Creating a new landmark attraction
- Creating new jobs in Chorlton
- Accommodating new businesses in Chorlton
Key essentials were that the site should:
- Be physically accessible to all
- Adapt to reflect local demands
- Be managed by the community
- Maintain a business focus, but not to damage existing independent retail, especially with regard to food and drink.
- Use art wherever possible to engage stakeholders
In terms of actual building use:
- The core food market concept on the first floor got most support, with strong backing for performance and pop-up film
- Recognising the Bee Gees and creating a Maker Space/Library of Things
- Respondents were less keen on the idea of a community gym
An aspirational social value report was also produced.