A MAJOR re-build of Redcar’s seafront Regent cinema is on time and on budget, according to a local council leader.

Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said she expected the building would be handed over to the local authority in March next year.

The £9.6m project, which is being funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, has seen the demolition of the old picture house, which was deemed to be unsafe due to its deteriorating structure and closed in 2018.

Its replacement is a three-storey art deco-style cinema building, construction of which has been underway for the past several months, which is to include a licensed bar with spectacular sea views and an events space for the public use.

There will be three screens, seating 200 people, and while the cinema will show major film releases, it is also expected to cater for those wanting to see more diverse, independent films.

Cllr Lanigan told a council meeting she had visited the new building, adding: “It is on time and on budget.

“It looks stunning and unique and they [the builders] have done an absolutely excellent job.”

The “on budget” comment may be seen by some in political circles at the council as a dig at the former Labour administration after another major capital project in the borough, the Kirkleatham Walled Garden, which finally opened in August, went over budget by £1.6m, much to Cllr Lanigan’s chagrin.

The new Regent cinema was always scheduled to open in spring next year, with the council previously having begun a tendering process in order to find a new operator – the identity of which has yet to be made public.

Seven hundred people previously responded to a council consultation over the cinema with 72 per cent saying they approved of the plans and re-design.

One hundred tonnes of steel has gone into the new building’s structure with 82 per cent of it said to have been produced in the borough.