Plans to convert the disused ABC Cinema in Stoke Newington into the new Hackney Arts Centre have received a boost following a £1.9million capital investment.

Village Underground (VU), the arts hub which operates a venue in Shoreditch, is behind the renovation of the Art Deco cinema. VU aims to transform the cinema into a centre for the arts and arts education.  

The additional £1.9million funding has come from The Arts Impact Fund, Big Issue Invest, and Triodos Bank.  

Auro Foxcroft, who heads Village Underground, said: “All three investors are passionate about the social impact of the Hackney Arts Centre and have been creative and bold in getting us this far.” 

Foxcroft continued: “As a social enterprise, it’s essential for us to have financial backing that understands our goals, and in this way these organisations have set us free to usher something into the world that would have otherwise not been possible.” 

Once renovation work is completed (it is currently only in the early stages) and the new venue opens as the Hackney Arts Centre, it is expected to operate as a multi-arts venue and run a series of educational programmes and outreach programmes, working with young people to foster new talent in the arts.  

The old picturehouse, which looks out onto the Stoke Newington Road, first opened in 1936 as a film theatre and operated as a cinema until 1984.  

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Hackney Gazette