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Keswick’s Convention is partnering with the historic Alhambra Cinema this summer to run afternoon screenings for Conventioners.

This is the latest move to promote the range of activities on offer in Keswick to Conventioners who attend the annual three-week event.
Carol Rennie, co-owner of the Alhambra, said “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Keswick Ministries to bring Conventioners to the Alhambra. They might be watching Toy Story 4, but we’d like to think they will also appreciate the heritage cinema experience. We can’t claim to be as old as the Convention, which put its first tent up outside St John’s Church just next to us a full 38 years before we were built, but I imagine Conventioners have been passing through our doors ever since.”
Details of the screenings were announced at Keswick’s Town Liaison Forum this week. The forum was launched by Keswick Ministries to encourage more two-way communication between the Convention and the town, and to engender a greater level of connection between the town and the Conventioners.

At the forum, David Sawday, Chief Operating Officer for Keswick Ministries, spoke about the partnership with The Alhambra, saying: “We’re all very positive about this dedicated afternoon at the cinema. We are working hard to ensure the benefits of the Convention flow through to the town, so we are continually exploring ways to encourage a deeper engagement between Conventioners and local businesses.”

Discussions are taking place for guided walks and outdoor activities to be held each week, which people can sign up for.

Following the forum, Mr Sawday said: “Last year Keswick Ministries freed up the afternoon schedule of Convention activities – so that Conventioners can spend more time enjoying the town and the local area. We will do the same this summer.”

Keswick Ministries will continue to work with the Keswick Tourist Association and local traders with the Friends of Keswick and Enjoy Keswick initiatives.

It was also agreed that Keswick Ministries will distribute programme schedules to businesses around the town, particularly pubs, restaurants and food outlets, so traders are aware of when peak times will be and can co-ordinate their meal offerings around Convention meeting times.

There are also plans for a dedicated area in the Convention’s Base Camp marque at Rawnsley for local businesses to promote themselves.

Further details of the 2019 Convention programme were given. In week one, an afternoon theatre performance of The Turbulent Priest by writer James Cary will take place. The Keswick Lectures, which are open to all, will be given by Keith Fox in week two and Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron in week three.

Town Councillors Jean Murray and Adam Paxon raised questions by residents about litter, noise management and armed police in the town during the convention.

Bob Johnston, Counter Terror Security Advisor for Cumbria Police, said armed police were deployed as considered necessary by the area commander for West Cumbria. This was usually based on numbers of people rather than the nature of the event and while sometimes armed presence is visible that is not always the case.

Updates were also given about the planning approval for the refurbishment of the former pencil factory.
Mr Sawday said the Lake District National Park Development Committee were “unanimous in their support”.

Members heard that phase one of the rebuild will see the demolition of the warehouse, the provision of toilets on the ground floor of the pencil factory and building the standing for the marquee, ready for the Convention to be on one site in 2019. Further phases will see the full renovation of the pencil factory by 2023.

The next Town Liaison Forum is set to take place on Tuesday 14 May.

Keswick Ministries