THE last few days of 2019 have seen a landmark moment for Penistone’s treasured Paramount cinema.

After many months of negotiation, the lease has finally been signed on the venue - safeguarding its future for the next 25 years.

And now that paperwork with Barnsley Council has been signed off, town councillors can get on with a substantial programme of improvements.

“New year, new start,” said a delighted Coun Jonathan Cutts, who oversees the Paramount for the town council.

“I am so pleased this has finally been done. It means the future of what is one of Penistone’s main attractions is secure for the foreseeable.

“We can now take the venue forward with improvements. Especially the inside, which is looking very tired.

“We will also be looking at work on the roof, roof lights and decorations - although we will ensure we keep the ambience and old-fashioned charm of the Paramount which is what people love about it.”

Coun Cutts said it was also planned to change the bar area to make it more customer-friendly and there is likely to be a second screen which could be used for special interest films and events.

“The Paramount will get something of a facelift to bring everything up to date,” said Coun Cutts.

The business of renewing the lease with Barnsley Council has been going on for about a year. Now it is sorted, it means valuable Principal Towns Initiative funding is a possibility.

“It has been a long, drawn-out affair with Barnsley wanting a business plan, asbestos check and water supply work. Most of which had already been done. It held everything up,” said Coun Cutts.

“Now we have to be positive as the Paramount is safeguarded for the future.”

Work won’t start straight away but within the next year, said Coun Cutts.

And no pricing has been done as yet, although the upgrade is likely to run into multi-thousands.

“We won’t do half a job,” said Coun Cutts.

“We want to get this right.”