North YorkshireThe Regent, Redcar

Merlin Projects A Bright Future For Its Employees

Independent Cinema operator Merlin Cinemas is set to soon become an Employee Ownership Trust.

Ownership of the company is being transferred from the existing Managing Director, Geoff Greaves, to an Employee Trust, which will own the company going forward. The trust will protect the interests of the 320 people who work in the company’s cinemas and restaurants located from Penzance at the tip of Cornwall to Thurso at the very top of Scotland.

The current senior management team based mainly in Redruth Cornwall will not change, after the transition it will be very much business as usual. Geoff the existing Managing Director is to stay on in a new supporting role with the intention of a gradual transition to retirement. Craig May, presently co-director, who has worked for the company for almost twenty years, will now become Managing Director, whilst Daisy Wren and Chris Lawrence, both experienced and long serving senior management employees, will be newly appointed as directors, together they will continue to drive this expanding cinema group forward. 

The company specialises in operating rural and coastal cinemas, mainly in towns where without Merlin there would be no local cinema. With an eclectic chain of venues, including converted historic buildings and re-opened old traditional cinemas, they also operate a multi-screen cinema and live theatre in the Regal at Redruth.

In Penzance where they already run the popular Savoy Cinema, they are also currently converting the long closed 1930s Art Deco Ritz Cinema into a multi-entertainment venue, which is due to open late this year. The company was started at the Savoy in 1990, which was then a run-down single screen cinema and has gradually grown to twenty sites and over 60 screens.

Geoff Greaves the founder said “This is a fantastic and exciting route to protect the company and our ethos, and to reward all those people who together have been part of the success in bringing the “Magic of the Movies” to so many people around the UK. I have always believed that the best place to see a film is at the cinema, it’s memorable and sociable, and without their own cinema locally people just don’t go very often, which is why I believe so much in cinema being local and engaged in the community”

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