Long live the King as an ambitious community project to restore a derelict Grade II-listed pub and convert it into a cinema, theatre, arts centre and a fine dining restaurant has successfully raised £300,000.
The King of Prussia in the centre of Bovey Tracey has been closed for a decade but Bovey Tracey Paradiso Arts – a newly formed community group – wants to convert the disused building into a multi-platform arts centre featuring an art gallery and studios, a 40-cover cafe/bar and an exclusive cinema seating up to 100.
They have ran a campaign to Save the King of Prussia – and Tony Pearce, one of the founders of the project – has announced that they have raised the £300,000 needed to buy the building.
He has hailed it as great news for the town and said that The King has been saved.
The historic King of Prussia pub, situated in Bovey Tracey’s Fore Street, would house a gallery, workshop space and artists’ studios, meeting and dressing rooms, and be linked to the cinema/theatre via a glass-roofed atrium housing a café bar/restaurant.
He added: “We have saved the King of Prussia and have the funds to buy the property. We have had fantastic support from the community and from the share offer we have been running and have got enough to complete on the agreement with the current owners, Heavitree Brewerey plc, to buy the building.
“We hope to complete and exchange contracts at the end of the month and then December 1 would be the first day of the Bovey Paradiso project.”
He added that alongside the Dartmoor Whisky Distillery that has started distilling in the Old Town Hall and the revived Bell Inn pub, there is also a renewed vision for arts in the town and that everyone is working together to ensure that their offers complement each other.
Mr Pearce added: “Public opinion surveys show a massive local support for these proposals. The art gallery will be a unique space in Bovey for artists to display their work, run workshops and attract interest in their work from the public.
“The cinema / theatre will offer a varied programme of new movies, live theatrical and other performances. The café bar will bring…