NORTHUMBERLAND’S only full-time, independent cinema is looking to the future with the appointment of a new chair to its board.

Barbara Spearman replaces Barry Hextall at the Forum Cinema Hexham, who has guided the cinema in many projects, including the launch of the Tyne Valley Film Festival.

Barbara will be at the helm for reopening. She said: “Having been on the board of the forum for a few years, I am delighted to step up as the new chairperson.

“The board work hard to make sure our local community cinema is a lovely place to work and visit.

“I think the people of Hexham and the surrounding area would agree that we are lucky to have such a special place where they can see the latest releases but also enjoy a diverse range of films”.

Barry added: “It has been a great privilege to have played my part in recent years which have felt like a three-film marathon of Absolutely Fabulous, Contagion and I am very much looking forward to Back to the Future.

“The cinema community has shown great resilience in weathering these recent storms and I am sure will come back with even more vibrancy than ever with Barbara Spearman as chair, David Nixon at the helm plus the excellent board, in-house team and the whole community of Forum friends.”

Forum Cinema has received financial support from the Government and BFI’s Cultural Recovery Fund for a safe return for cinema-goers.

“I’d like to thank Barry for his leadership and support over the past few years”, said cinema manager David Nixon. “And I’m now looking forward to working with Barbara and the wider board to ensure the forum continues to offer a welcoming, safe and exciting cinema experience.”