Campaigners say they are delighted after an application calling for Ashford’s former Mecca Bingo building to be given Grade II-listed status passed through the first stage. The prominent Lower High Street spot will now be visited by inspectors after officials at Historic England met to discuss whether they would formally consider the proposal. They will conduct an on-site assessment and consultation with interested parties including Ashford Borough Council (ABC) before submitting their recommendation to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which will have the final say on whether to award the listing.
Historic England’s advice will remain confidential until the Heritage Minister has made the final decision, with bosses saying it is unclear how long the process will take.
It comes after the Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) – which campaigns nationally to protect traditional cinema buildings – wrote to Historic England in April calling for the landmark site to be recognised.