Northern Ireland news

Jamie Dornan champions Strand Arts Centre's refurbishment plans

Jamie Dornan pictured with Mimi Turtle, chief executive of Strand Arts Centre

ACTOR Jamie Dornan popped into his childhood cinema to show his support for a major refurbishment of the east Belfast venue.

Plans are being developed to renovate the Strand Arts Centre, which is currently physically deteriorating, has limited disabled access and inadequate facilities to meet the demand for its activities.

The work will preserve the building and highlight its distinctive art deco style.

While Belfast City Council has already allocated £1.8m towards the project, the Strand is still in search of further support of the landmark project.

Holywood-born star Dornan is among those to throw their weight behind the refurbishment, describing the Strand as a "jewel in east Belfast".

"It is such an iconic building and has a special place in my heart," he said.

"I have fond memories of coming here as a child and I'm delighted to see it has evolved to provide even more.

"There is so much creativity and skill here, and we must do everything to encourage and develop that, as well as allowing people to continue to enjoy theatre, music, and cinema throughout their lives."

Mimi Turtle, chief executive of Strand Arts Centre, said the venue is "full of character" but urgently needed renovated.

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