A SECOND round of bidding for major refurbishment plans to preserve a historic cinema for the next century have been submitted.

The renovation of the Electric Palace, in Kings Quay Street, Harwich, hinges on a Heritage Lottery Grant as part of a £700,000 project.

The scheme for the 105-year-old venue involves stabilising the auditorium’s ceiling to prevent the possibility of it collapsing.

If the second round of bidding is successful the refurbishment will start in the middle of spring and it will take about nine months to complete.

The work includes renovating the ceiling, new seating, new internal decoration and a refurbishment of the exterior.

Chris Strachan, Electric Palace Trust trustee, said: “It’s a complex scheme involving many different contractors - so when the time scale becomes clearer the date of a grand re-opening gala in 2019 will be announced.”

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

Mr Strachan added: “The Local Appeal for the project continues to make good progress but still requires further support to reach the target of £60,000.

“Recent additions from successful screenings and shows have brought the sum raised so far up to £45,000 so with a concerted final push we could reach the target at around the same time as the result of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant bid is announced and, if the outcome is positive, the works programme gets underway.

“Many thanks to all friends who have already donated and to the Harwich and Manningtree Standard who have continued to flag up the local appeal with the memory-jogging thermometers.”

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