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Cinema throws open its doors

Wellington Orbit - a cinema and arts hub in the heart of Wellington, - is set to mark its fifth birthday with a special open weekend on May 11th and 12th.

The event will also provide an early glimpse into the future redevelopment of the venue following recent investment secured by Telford & Wrekin Council through the Government’s Capital Regeneration Programme and Wellington Orbit fundraising.

Following significant fundraising efforts and community support, the group of volunteers behind Wellington Orbit have transformed the former HSBC bank building and in 2019, Wellington Orbit emerged into a vibrant cultural hub for the Wellington community and beyond.

At the end of 2022, Wellington Orbit directors announced the acquisition of the freehold, securing the future of the facility for future generations.

In Spring 2023, it was announced that a successful bid for Capital Regeneration Programme funding and fundraising by Wellington Orbit will enable the upper floors of the cinema to be developed into multi-functional arts and cultural spaces for public use.

The festivities for the open weekend will kick off with in-depth guided building tours, offering attendees a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the upper floors and an insight into planned changes as part of Phase 2 of the redevelopment.

With tours running every 15 minutes, guests can expect an interesting and engaging experience with ample time for questions.

Phil Morris-Jones, chairman at Wellington Orbit, said: "We are thrilled to celebrate our fifth birthday with the Orbit open weekend and share our ambitious plans for the future with the community.

"It's a testament to the unwavering support of our volunteers, staff, members, customers, Telford & Wrekin Council and other investors that we've come this far, and we invite everyone to join us at this important stage and share in our plans."

In addition to the tours, guests will be treated to a complimentary slice of birthday cake and hot drink, as well as a £5 preview screening of ‘Two Tickets to Greece’ on May 12 at 7pm.

Throughout the whole weekend, guests can hear more about the progress of developments, with Orbit directors, the wider project team, and Telford & Wrekin Council representatives.

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Place (the Economy & Neighbourhood Services, said: "We are delighted to celebrate this milestone anniversary for the Wellington Orbit and also mark the start of an exciting chapter for the cinema with a redevelopment programme which will secure the venue’s future in the heart of Wellington.

“The refurbishment of the cinema’s upper floors will deliver multi-functional community spaces for exhibitions, performing arts, community outreach services and offices.

“This will further attract additional footfall to Wellington which will have positive spin offs for local businesses. We’ve been proud to support The Orbit since they first moved to the heart of Wellington and we’re proud to be travelling with them on the next stage of their exciting journey.”

For more information about the open weekend and to book spots on a building tour, visit www.wellingtonorbit.co.uk/open-weekend

Pictured: Ray Hughes and Graham Weston