Listed here are the Essoldo Stretford highlights from the lastest draft of the Stretford Masterplan (January 2014). If you want to read about the bigger picture for the whole area, you can do so here.

Summary – Essoldo Cinema

The Grade II listed Essoldo Cinema building, designed in the art deco style, is an important heritage asset for Stretford Town Centre. Its distinctive frontage and location at a gateway into the town centre makes it a key landmark building. Originally known as the Longford Theatre, the building opened in 1936 and was renamed the Essoldo in 1950. From the mid1960s the building was used as a bingo hall until its closure in 1995. It is currently in private ownership and has remained vacant for over 15 years providing an unattractive frontage.

Objectives –

To promote the refurbishment, enhancement and reuse of historic buildings such as the Essoldo Cinema and Stretford Public Hall. The SPD identifies opportunity areas including Chester Road, Stretford, which are in need of improvement either through cleaning, landscaping or redevelopment. The Essoldo Cinema is identified as one of the major opportunity sites for intervention.

Historic buildings –

The Masterplan area contains three Grade II listed buildings, namely, Stretford Public Hall, the Essoldo Cinema, and St Matthew’s Church. The former Post Office building on King Street and Stretford library on Kingsway, whilst not listed, are buildings of historic interest and provide a link to Stretford’s past. These buildings provide a valuable contribution to Stretford’s indentity and character. It will be important to ensure these are preserved and enhanced in the delivery of the Masterplan.

Site 4: Essoldo Cinema

The Grade II listed Essoldo Cinema has been vacant since 1995. Repairs have recentlybeen made to the external fabric of the building. There is potential to create a new entertainment / leisure facility at this location contributing to the development of the evening economy and providing family orientated activities within the town centre.

Restoration of the Essoldo Cinema could link more effectively with the parade of shops, office units and residential uses on Edge Lane immediately to the south of the building and with the Bridgewater Canal to the rear of the site.

The restoration of the Grade II listed Essoldo Cinema building would provide the opportunity for a large scale family friendly entertainment facility within Stretford Town Centre. This would support the development of the evening economy and also encourage families to use the town centre for leisure uses. Restaurant / café / bar facilities could also be provided as part of the Essoldo site. Works to the rear of the site would improve access to the Bridgewater Canal and take advantage of proximity to this waterside setting.

Funding & Delivery –

The delivery of the Masterplan will be dependent on effective partnership working. As part of the new governance structure described above collaborative working with the community, businesses, landowners, developers, investors, retailers and residents will deliver the revitalisation of Stretford Town Centre.

Key action points – 2014 to 2018

Engagement will be undertaken with the owner of the Essoldo Cinema to progress proposals to bring this site back into active use.