Campaigners try to halt plans to demolish Beatles cinema in Wavertree village

Lidl said the new store would create up to 30 jobs. Credit: PA

Campaigners have launched a bid to save a cinema at the centre of a Beatles heritage site where John Lennon spent many hours.

The old cinema is due to be demolished to make way for a new Lidl branch.

Lidl revealed plans to pull down the Abbey Cinema in Wavertree village, Liverpool, after surveys it commissioned suggested the property was "beyond economic repair".

The Cinema was used as a Co-op store before it was bought by the discount supermarket chain.

The proposals, which the firm has opened to public consultation before a planning application is submitted, show a new design intended to "pay tribute" to the original building.

To replace an elegant 82-year-old survivor of the Blitz with a single-storey shed in a car park is the equivalent of recording over an Oscar-winning epic with a wobbly home movie

Jonathan Brown, Liverpool planning expert

The move has been widely condemned by heritage campaigners and locals.

An application to make the cinema a listed building has been submitted by Save Britain's Heritage, and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Abbey Cinema is legally protected as a "designated heritage asset", but this does not protect the building from demolition.

In the original lyrics to the song, In My Life, released in 1965, Lennon referred to the cinema as somewhere he had spent "happy hours", while bandmate George Harrison was born opposite the building.

Lidl said the new store would create up to 30 jobs.

Lidl GB has considered all options for the site and commissioned a thorough independent report from a chartered civil and structural engineer who concluded that the building is in a poor condition and not viable to renovate.

A spokesman for Lidl

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