MAJOR plans to preserve a historic cinema for the next century have been submitted as part of a £700,000 project.

Nicholas Jacob Architects has been tasked with planning the renovation of the Electric Palace, in Kings Quay Street, Harwich.

The scheme, which will involve stabilising the auditorium’s ceiling to prevent the possibility of it collapsing, hinges on a Heritage Lottery Grant.

To undertake the repairs to the ceiling, the roof will have to be dismantled and the cinema would have to be closed for about six months.

The Electric Palace Trust is also working hard to raise £60,000 towards the work on the Grade II listed building.

If the bid is successful, the 105-year-old cinema will have a renovated ceiling, new seating, new internal decoration and a refurbishment of the exterior.

Chris Strachan, Electric Palace Trust trustee, said the trust has raised £13,000 since April.

He said: “The boost of £13,000 to the Local Electric Palace Appeal over the past six months has taken it from about half up to reaching two thirds of the target of £60,000, so we’re making good progress but need to continue the momentum.”

He said showings of a variety of films, as well as concerts and live streamed events over the year have helped fundraise for the restoration project.

He said: “These excellent results should push the thermometer up to well above £40,000 but there is still some way to go in order to reach the aim of £60,000 so all donations will be gratefully received.”

He said the outcome for the Heritage Lottery Bid should be known by the end of this year.

He said: “If successful it will then be full steam ahead with detailed co-ordination of the planning and commissioning of the repairs and refurbishment programme followed by the closure for the works from late spring or early summer onwards which will be followed by a second grand relaunch.”

To donate to the appeal for funds, use sort code 40-19-43 and account number 81379224 and reference HEPT Roof Appeal.