Community cinema receives LABC award for excellence


A community cinema, The Depot, in the town of Lewes in East Sussex has been awarded the title of Best Public Service Building at the LABC Building Excellence Awards after being nominated by Lewes District Council.

The building is used for independent film screenings, exhibitions and festivals and is also used for film education and community activities. The project was privately funded as part of a philanthropic gift from two local residents and has been built inside an existing warehouse which was previously a GPO depot. A glazed front extension houses the box office, cafe, bar and restaurant.

The Depot was designed by Burrell Foley Fischer for the Lewes Community Screen charity and was built by Durtnell & Sons Ltd. It has been noted that the designers and building team had to overcome technical difficulties and building site constraints to achieve the final result.

LABC chief executive Paul Everall has said that the building excellent awards are designed to show good practice across the construction industry. Winner demonstrates how positive relationships with council building control teams can lead to high quality, sustainable buildings. This further leads to higher building standards and professionalism.

Judges praised The Depot for its innovative use of technology to ensure it is inclusive for the entire community. External lighting has been kept to a minimum and the green roof of local planting reflects the special character of its surroundings. The Depot has also been nominated for the 2018 Screen Awards Cinema of the Year category.

This final of the LABC awards featured 15 other winners across categories such as “best change of an existing building” and “best educational building”.