A TREASURED cinema that closed for four months over Asbestos fears has been given the all clear to reopen by Blaenau Gwent council.

The historic 123-year-old Market Hall in Brynmawr was issued with a closure notice by the council in November last year during its works to build a second screen.

The warning referred to a potentially asbestos-contaminated roof space over the adjacent former town library and the cinema has remained closed since, with its future remaining uncertain.

As previously reported by the Argus, the charity that manages the cinema - the Market Hall Cinema and Arts Trust - has lost around £100,000 in funds during this period.

This week the cinema, posting on Facebook, confirmed results of the final air tests were received on Friday, April 7, giving the cinema the "all-clear".

The statement said: “After months of testing, and rigorous investigation where literally every nook and cranny was tested and probed, we are delighted be able announce we will soon be able to finally reopen our doors secure in the knowledge that this beloved historic building is officially safe.

“It's been a bit of an uphill struggle at times, but like old vinyl records, we're coming back”.

The post also thanked Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, local councillors and the support of the community during the closure.

“Without their unwavering support, we might have had an altogether different outcome to report. Thank you, chaps,” the statement added.

After council funding cuts threatened to close the cinema in 2013, a community group took over the site quadrupling the number of screenings and hosting cult nights and film premieres.

Despite the closure, the public and politicians have supported the group in their fight to reopen, including Newport-born actor and activist, Michael Sheen.

Due to the loss of revenue over the closure period, the Market Hall Cinema and Arts Trust has relied on donations to survive.

An online Crowdfunder page, set up by cinema staff, has also attracted over 1,000 supporters, raising nearly £19,000 towards its £50,000 target to help pay for remedial work.

Over the four-month closure period, safety certificates for water testing and emergency lighting have expired, with cinema heads stating there will be a “short delay” before the cinema reopens.

No specific reopening date has been set by the Market Hall Cinema team at this time.

For more information on the cinema, search ‘Market Hall Cinema Brynmawr’ on Facebook or visit the now closed appeal page: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-the-market-hall-proect.