THE STOP-START conversion of a run down former car showroom in Liphook into a state of the art independent cinema is expected to get back on track with work likely to resume in May or June.

But it recently came to light those behind the project are to buy the former Anchor Garage showroom.

It had been previously agreed The Living Room Cinema company would lease the building for 20-years, convert it and open it as a cinema with a café/bar.

The exciting proposal to convert the ‘eyesore’ building off Liphook Square was launched about four years ago by local resident Claire Beswick, founder and director of The Living Room Cinema.

But since then the project has been dogged by difficulties and setbacks, including the pandemic. This has led to residents fearing the cinema plan will be replaced by one to build houses.

The concerns were fuelled by the original cinema planning application that included the cinema company building of two town houses when it converted the former garage.

In a statement Ms Beswick (pictured right) said: “At times lockdown has made progress nigh on impossible and, being honest, there were moments where I feared we might never be able to open the doors of the Liphook cinema.

“But we have raised further funds to mitigate some of the additional challenges we face, and later this year, we will gain legal ownership of the building that will become the cinema.

“We have the full confidence of our backers who share the belief that post-pandemic, social experiences will be more valued than ever.”