PLANS for a cinema, arts centre and restaurant in Hoylake's former town hall building have been given the green-light by the council.

The authority approved plans for the Hylgar Properties development at the Edwardian building on Albert Road today (Wednesday, August 1).

It will feature a small one or two-screen cinema/arts space with associated cafe/bistro, fine dining restaurant, atrium cafe/bar with small retail units around a central courtyard.

There would also be further retail units for artists and makers, and 40 apartments on four levels above the ground floor.

Design for the project – known as The Beacon - has come from Liverpool architects Falconer Chester Hall and will see the historic town hall refurbished and retained.

There was significant support for the plans from the local community, with 142 official supporting statements and just eight objecting submitted to council.

The Hoylake Beacon steering group – a group of volunteers facilitating the project – said hundreds more have written to them, endorsing the plans.

It said that support has included a number of famous faces, including current James Bond Daniel Craig and David Bradley – best known for playing Billy Casper in the 1969 film Kes, directed by Ken Loach.

Managing director of Falconer Chester Hall, Adam Hall said: "This is a genuinely innovative and welcome scheme which re-invigorates a local landmark building into a variety of creative uses and helps meet the demand for good quality accommodation in the area. It will also bring new jobs and investment."

The scheme will create around 60 new jobs and hopes to establish a 'vibrant' new destination to the heart of Hoylake.

Secretary of the Hoylake Conservation Area Chris Moore CBE said: “We are delighted to see such an imaginative and sympathetic scheme setting out to conserve and enhance these iconic buildings and bring them back into community use.”

The project has been supported by a local group of volunteers known as the Beacon Steering Group who have helped facilitate public consultation and create a development that will work for the area.

The original building, including the original fire engine house entrance, would be retained in the development.

Documents supporting the plans say the site is close to the council-owned 200-space car park, also lying within the Hoylake Conservation Area.

The cinema would screen the latest releases as well as live streamed entertainment and a range of films including specialist, independent and documentaries.

The bar would have live entertainment including music, comedy, dance and theatre, with the restaurant offering guests fine dining.

It is hoped to attract 120,000 visitors a year, with support also coming from Ms Greenwood and City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham.