CAMPAIGNERS have won a bid to block the demolition of a beloved art deco cinema.

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle​

The plan to turn the former County and later George Cinema in Portobello into 20 flats was unanimously rejected by Edinburgh City Council's development management sub committee.

The councillors voted against the advice of their planning officers who had recommended the demolition of the building except for the facade.


Campaigners including Michhael Davidson of Friends of the George, above, Portobello Community Council and four Portobello and Craigmillar ward councillors argued the building could be kept and refurbished as a cinema and community and arts hub.

The developer's consultants found asbestos in the building but separate specialist consultants for the objectors argued the building could still be repaired.


Liam Buckley, of developer Buckley Building, said he had grown up in the area and lived nearby all his life and that he wanted to bring new life into the landmark as flats.

The committee in the city chambers heard the campaigners are backed by a feasibility study done by the arts and education trust Out of the Blue.

Read more: Art deco cinema demolition battle reaches hearing

The committee also heard that the building had not been marketed as a potential restoration and also that Out of the Blue is still interested in being involved in its development as an arts space.