Hinckley’s former Regent building under offer

The Regent in Lancaster Road and Rugby Road is currently under offer to a new landowner. It became public knowledge on 11 December 2019 when a “To Let” sign on the building had a new “Under offer” sticker over placed over the top of it.

The Regent has sat empty since January 2018 where it was last used as a tearoom during the daytime and a live music venue throughout the night-time.

In 1927, design architect, Horace G. Bradley had been commissioned by a local theatre company, Hinckley and Dursley Theatres Ltd, to design a theatre that would be known as The Regent and would seat up to 1,000 people. The contractors of this project during the time were G.E. and W. Wincott, who were located in Nuneaton.

Since first being used as a theatre, the building has been used in its later life as a cinema and bingo hall. In 2014, a rather large amount of the building was demolished to make way for a car park for Iceland Foods.

In more recent years, the building reopened for a very short period of time as Harry’s Place, also known to locals as Harry’s Bar, even though the outside signage did not reflect this.

Unfortunately, the venue had closed its doors for the last time in 2018. There has been no chance of seeing the venue open and operating until this notice has been displayed.

Local historian and owner of the Hinckley District Past and Present group, Paul Gardner, said: “A number of years ago I was involved with the Save The Regent group. We tried so hard to save this iconic building that was built in 1929.

It was the last surviving example of a Horace Bradley Cinema that was largely untouched. All the original Art-Deco was intact but had simply been boarded over.

It would have made a fantastic venue in the town for civic events, rehearsal space day clubs etc., something the whole community could have benefitted from. Sadly, we couldn’t raise enough money in time.

Amazingly, the auditorium, which was the best part of the building, was knocked down to become a car park for Iceland.

This left the upper and lower foyer and the row of shops remaining of this once proud building that welcomed you into the town when approaching from the West.

Today, the building itself is in need some some TLC as it has been neglected for many years. I just wished we could have saved the entire building.

I believe the original plan was to knock down the whole lot including the parade of shops, but eventually the then owner changed plans for the shops to remain. This was welcome but now sadly our wonderful Regent is no more and has gone forever.”

Local chartered surveyor, Harry Ward, of Wards, said the following when he was asked about what he thought to The Regent being under offer: “It is great to see that The Regent on Lancaster Road in Hinckley is under offer.

The Regent has been a prominent building within Hinckley town centre for over 90 years and the approved planning permission, for six flats on the upper floors and two retail units on the ground floor, appears sympathetic to the heritage of the building.

In general, retailing in Hinckley remains buoyant with various new lettings having been completed in 2019, albeit, there is still lots of work to be done in the New Year with various prominent premises, including the former Yorkshire Bank at 5 Market Place and former Caves Fruiterers at 3-5 Castle Street, remaining vacant.

I am however confident that tenants will be secured for these and other vacant premises in the town centre through extensive marketing by Wards and other agents along with the excellent support of the Hinckley BID.”

Notizie’s Editorial Team would like to thank the team at Hinckley District Past and Present for their knowledge of the building, their supplied photographs and a quote from their local historian, Paul Gardner, that helped with this story. We would also like to thank chartered surveyor, Harry Ward for his quote and opinions on this story.

We will keep you updated with more information on this story as it develops.

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