AMBITIOUS plans are afoot to breathe new life into a disused Oswestry town centre building.

A group hopes to form a community-owned initiative to transform the old Regal Cinema into an entertainment, educational and social hub.

The plan – which could also include the adjacent B-Wise building – is being spearheaded by Ingrid and Bob Knowles, along with three others.

Mrs Knowles said that the building had been empty for some time and could be a "great community space.

"We want to set up a community space for Oswestry and to offer better facilities," she said.

"At the moment the spaces that are available tend to be too small."

Mrs Knowles said that Oswestry BID were supportive of the idea and they had also received positive feedback from the town council.

She added that the group was talking with the Tourist Information Centre "to see how we can work together".

"Everybody says it would be a great chance for the town to have something that re-enlivens the night-time economy as well." she added.

The idea is to set up an organisation such as a community interest company to buy the building, and Mrs Knowles said that it was "very likely" that they would receive lottery funding.

They hope to set up a shareholder scheme so that the "community will really own it because they're financially involved."

Facilities could include a cinema, theatre space, social areas and a training scheme for young people.

The group hopes to use renewable energy and refurbishment would be done "as environmentally-friendly as possible".

A public conference will be held at Oswestry Memorial Hall from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sunday, February 10 to gain more feedback on the plan.

"We also have to find out what people want - that's why we have hired the Memorial Hall, to give people the chance to talk about their ideas, because it's all very well us saying that it would be nice to have all that, but it's good to have people there to say what they think," Mrs Knowles added.

Around 90 people have signed up for the event so far, with around 30 more saying that they cannot attend but are interested in the project.

Mrs Knowles said the event will build a "good basis" for a business plan because it would be very clear how many people have attended and what they have to say.

Those who wish to discuss whether the Regal Cinema is viable for this project should email

It is suggested that attendees should ideally stay for the while event to get all the information about the plan.