We've got cash to revive Odeon

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A GROUP seeking to revive the former Odeon cinema said it had secured funding for its plans as it submitted a formal bid to take over the building.

The deadline for offers on the Clerk Street landmark passed yesterday afternoon, with representatives of owners Duddingston House Properties now meeting officials from Historic Scotland, the city council and the Scottish Government to discuss the way forward. Among those to have submitted a bid is the New Victoria project, which seeks to bring the building back into use as an arts centre.

Operations director Sarah Colquhoun said the group had funding in place from private investors to make its bid, although she could not reveal how much had been offered.

"We have the proof of funding that we need to put the bid in, it's all in place. We believe we're putting in a bid that reflects the valuation of the building so we'll have to wait and see what the vendors make of that in comparison to their valuation," she said.

Duddingston House Properties' surveyors value the building at 2.93 million, and the firm has estimated that it would cost around 5m to restore it to its original condition. It said last month that there had been around 20 expressions of interest, but it is not known how many of these translated into firm offers.

The Elim Pentecostal Church has also previously signalled that it hoped to make a bid for the 1930s, Grade-B listed building, although a spokesman declined to confirm today if it had gone ahead.

Duddingston House Properties bought the building seven years ago after it closed as a cinema. It failed to get support for a number of schemes before finally winning planning permission from the city council to demolish the main auditorium, keeping the remainder of the building and creating a hotel on the site.

However, after protests from Historic Scotland, the project was called in by the Scottish Government Reporter, who ruled that the building must be remarketed in the hope of finding a buyer who would preserve more of the original building.If no successful bid is made, Duddingston House Properties hopes to proceed with its hotel plan.

A spokesman said: "We now need to consult with the bidders to clarify a number of issues, and this process will take a number of days. Once we have received the clarification we require, we will have further conversation before any more detailed announcement can be made."

A spokeswoman for Historic Scotland said: "January 5 was the closing date for bids and Historic Scotland will meet with the owner and council to establish if any credible bids for the building have been submitted."

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