A FORMER musician, who set up a community interest company to build a new arts centre in Tameside, said he is determined for the project to go ahead.

Matt Gough, 36, from Dukinfield, launched Tameside Live Society last year with the intention to create an arts, music and film centre in the area.

Last year, Mr Gough and his business partner, Josh Lynch  launched an online campaign to renovate a 1920s majestic cinema on Old Street in Ashton.

Initially, they hoped to raise £25,000 to transform the historic landmark into a cultural hub but after the lease fell through earlier this week they must now try and raise enough money to buy the building or search for another venue.

Mr Gough said: “I viewed the cinema last year, the owner was sceptical at first and then he came round to the idea of leasing it to us, then last week he changed his mind and is looking to sell it.

“It’s an historical landmark and I want to save one of the last 1920s art-deco cinemas.

“The intention was to create an arts centre in Tameside, the majestic would be the perfect place for it but there are other buildings.”

The father of three, who is now studying graphic design at the University of Chester, said he had been inspired and fascinated by the idea of preserving art-deco features after working in an old cinema growing up.

The derelict picture house, which closed in 2003, has welcomed many well-known musicians including Bryan Adams and The Damned, and was featured in the film East is East.

Mr Gough and his team are hopeful that with donations and grants they will fulfil their aim of creating a multi-purpose arts venue where they will host live performances and hire out design studios, music rehearsal and recording space.

Tameside Live Society team
Tameside Live Society team

He added: “Tameside doesn’t have much culture, all the culture is gone and I want to bring some culture to the borough and try and give the kids something to do in a creatively inspiring environment.

“In my business I want everything to be sourced locally, from the staff to stock to acts, it’s about getting that community back in Ashton.”

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