A GALLERY will be upgrading its cinema amid a scheme to “drastically reduce” its carbon footprint and energy use.

Firstsite will replace its original lighting system which has lit up the building in Lewis Gardens, Colchester, for 12 years.

A portion of a £700,000 grant gifted to Firstsite last year by the Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme will be used to fund the project.

The work will begin at the end of this month, starting with lighting upgrades in the venue’s cinema.

The cash will also be invested in improvements to the sound and projection system, with the cinema closing between October 30 and November 23.

Gallery director, Sally Shaw said: “The new package of upgrades will provide an enhanced experience for customers while reducing the cinema’s carbon footprint and in turn, saving energy and costs.”

Upon the cinema’s reopening, a packed film and live screening programme is planned.

The next set of improvements will commence in January, taking place in the shop area and foyer.

Ms Shaw added: “These updates will drastically reduce our carbon footprint and electricity costs, make our building more visually accessible and allow us the flexibility and precision to present our amazing exhibitions in new creative ways, lighting all artworks effectively.”