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Preston Markets plan: Vue Cinemas hints at move as traders meet architects for first time

Posted on - 2nd December, 2014 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, Walton-le-Dale
Vue cinemas says it is committed to a site in Preston

Vue cinemas says it is committed to a site in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall

The Preston Markets plan could see a cinema relocate to the centre of the city.

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Vue Cinemas are understood to be in negotiations about a possible move to the Markets site.

Preston City Council is progressing a redevelopment of the Indoor Markets.

The scheme would see the Indoor Market, Market Hall car park and Lancastria House all demolished to make way for a new cinema and restaurant complex.

Market traders would be moved to the Victorian covered market.

Vue, currently based at the Capitol Centre, has denied it is planning to close the Walton-le-Dale site in 2015.

A spokeswoman for Vue said: “We are continuing to review our options to remain in Preston, whether this is in the city centre or our existing location. The cinema will not be closing in 2015.”

A city council spokesman said: “The Council’s aim is to have a new Cinema within the markets quarter of the City Centre but we are not in direct discussions with Vue Cinemas at this stage.”

Architects IBI Taylor Young Limited have been appointed to lead the project in a deal worth £161,375.

An initial meeting has been held with Indoor Market traders who have expressed concerns about the plans.

A first meeting between the architects and traders led to a Twitter outburst from the Preston Markets account.

Tweeting: “Architect meets traders for first time. State only room for meat, fish and poultry in new market. Over 200 jobs at risk.

“Has PCC gone too far as architect states only provision for meat, fish and poultry.”

They went on the brand the city council as “clueless or blinkered”.

Ellen Young, from the Indoor Market Tenants Association, said they felt the architect had indicated only meat, fish and poultry would be accommodated in the new Markets.

Council leader councillor Peter Rankin has promised compensation would be paid to traders whether they moved into a new market or not.

Councillor Peter Rankin said: “I have repeatedly said that investing in the markets is the Council’s top priority for improving Preston City Centre and we want to see a vibrant and thriving market. We are only at the very start of the process at looking at options and its simply too early to say what stalls and goods the future market may contain although I have always said that the food market is our priority.

“During the next few months we will gain a better understanding of the needs of all market traders, both indoor and out, before coming forward with a draft proposal for the markets by spring 2015.”

Councillor Rankin said at this stage they could not say which stalls would or wouldn’t be in the new look market.

What do you think of the cinema plan for the markets site? Let us know your views in the comments below

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