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Local jobseekers scoop cinema roles

Almost 500 applications were received from people wanting to work at the new cinema opening in the centre of Walthamstow later this month. But as a result of a collaborative programme of recruitment that involved Waltham Forest Council, JobCentre Plus and Empire Cinemas, all 35 roles have gone to people from the borough.

The new team began three weeks of training at the JobCentre Plus in Forest Road, Walthamstow on Monday 27 October. The training will also see them working at Empire Cinemas in Basildon, Bishops Stortford and the iconic Leicester Square venue before taking up their positions in Walthamstow.

“It’s fantastic news that so many people from Waltham Forest have managed to find work at the new cinema,” said Councillor Clare Coghill, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets.

“It’s been a decade since we have had a cinema in the borough and I know our residents have been getting very excited about the return of the silver screen. But we were always focused on the fact it meant not just a great night out, but a number of great jobs too.

“Ever since we knew it was coming we have been planning to see as many of the jobs it will create go to local people – but for all of them to go to borough residents is remarkable.”

Dylan Poulton, 19, from Leyton, said, “I’m really excited about the prospect of working at the new cinema. I am a huge film fan, so this is an ideal job for me.”

Jackie Blake-Belton, 40, from Walthamstow, said, “I really wanted to be part of the new cinema. I was a full-time mum before getting this job so I am excited about the challenge.” 

Davina Mathurin, 31, from Walthamstow, said, “I have been looking for work for two years and when I saw this opportunity I begged to be considered. It is right up my street as I used to work at Walthamstow Dog Stadium so the nature of the work is not dissimilar.”

Amanda Maynard, 30, from Walthamstow, said, “I recently completed a course at Waltham Forest College and I am very excited about learning lots of different roles as a Team Member. The variety in the job is great and it fits really well with my life as a mum of two and being local. My son is really happy I have got a job at Empire – he’s telling all his schoolfriends!”

Opening on 19 November, The Scene will also include 121 new homes, as well as shops and restaurants including Nando’s and Pizza Express. The £30m regeneration project is just one element of the Council’s ‘Creating a better place to live’ campaign that is committed to doing more to improve the borough’s streets, enhance Waltham Forest’s schools and provide better leisure facilities.

Full details of the scope of the Council’s ‘Creating a better place to live’ campaign are available on the Council’s website at For more information about The Scene at Cleveland Place visit

PHOTO: Four of the 35 Waltham Forest residents who are filling the jobs at the new Empire Cinema (from left to right) Davina Mathurin, Dylan Poulton, Amanda Maynard and Jackie Blake-Belton.


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