Doncaster Council-funded cinema Savoy devalued by millions

Doncaster’s council-funded cinema has been devalued by more than half of what it cost to build, a report has revealed.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:18 pm
The Savoy cinema in Doncaster

In the latest external audit report seen by council bosses said the Savoy Doncaster, which cost the council just over £8.5 million to build, is now worth £3.29 million.

DMBC finance bosses said the current value was a ‘snapshot of the current economy’ and that it ‘reflects the current market value’ of the completed scheme.

The report said the cinema was included in assets under construction but had been completed before the year end. The value of operational assets was understated by £3.29 million which follows the valuation of the cinema whilst assets under construction were overstated by £8.67 million.

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The auditors added that the cinema had been removed from assets under construction and added to the operational assets and the difference of £5.38 million represents an ‘impairment’ which has now been included in financial statements.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service also asked DMBC bosses on the latest around the units next to the cinema which have remained empty since the building opened in September 2020.

The council said back in August 2020 that there was ‘strong interest’ from ‘local and national operators’ in the five units earmarked for restaurants but nothing materialised.

DMBC bosses said they are ‘continuing to negotiate lease terms’ with occupiers across the new units.

Dan Swaine, director of economy and environment, said: “The figure recorded reflects the current market value of the scheme now that it has been completed.

“It is a snapshot in time that takes into account the current economy, particularly given that we are still in recovery from the pandemic.

“Over time, as the development is filled with new operators, it is expected to increase in value, creating new jobs and feeding our local economy.

“Following initial delays due to recent times, we are continuing to negotiate lease terms with occupiers across the new units.

“This has advanced over recent months and, as soon as we are able, we will share more details about this which will only enhance the current Civic and Cultural Quarter offer and add to its growing popularity as a high quality leisure destination.”

DMBC decided to build the cinema in order to continue the regeneration of Waterdale after a private backer pulled out.