Vue Cinema looks set to move to Preston city centre and be part of a major redevelopment of the Fishergate Shopping Centre.Advertisement
What was the TJ Hughes store has plans tabled to convert it into six new shops, five restaurants and a cinema.
Benson Elliot, who own the Fishergate complex, have set aside £25 million for the scheme.
Peter Cornforth, director of retail at Benson Elliot, said: “Consumer expectations have shifted considerably and now it’s time to catch up and equip Fishergate to serve Preston’s community as they would expect it to.
“In this fast-moving internet-enabled world where shopping and leisure are fusing into a seamless activity, our plans enable a positive response to the challenges and offer the major brands at Fishergate and beyond the opportunity to plan for the future.”
“Customers everywhere now expect great quality stores and brands, decent places to meet and enjoy something to eat or just relax and chat over a coffee, or spend the afternoon with the kids catching a movie.
“As a well-funded private sector investor, we are able to deliver this project without any recourse to the public purse and begin work as soon as planning permission is granted.”
It comes at a time when Preston City Council is working on proposals to revamp Preston Indoor Market – with a cinema and restaurant complex at the heart of multi-million pound proposals.
Related: Traders warm to new proposals for demolition of Indoor Market
Vue Cinemas had been linked with a move to the city centre after the owners of the Capitol Centre applied for planning permission to demolish the current Vue multiplex there.
The Fishergate Centre was identified as the most likely place for a new cinema complex in a report by cinema experts dcinex, as reported on Blog Preston in February.
Geoff Moore, property director at Vue Entertainment, said: “Vue has operated a cinema in Preston since the acquisition of the Warner Village circuit in 2003.
“We’re delighted to support this exciting new leisure and restaurant development at the very successful Fishergate Centre, providing our customers with a world class, state-of-the-art modern cinematic experience to replace our ageing cinema at the Capitol Centre.
“Siting our brand alongside the likes of Debenhams, Primark, TK Maxx and a clutch of new family restaurants and retail stores will enhance the customer offer and create more business and jobs within the city centre.”
Related: Preston’s cinematic history and where former cinemas used to stand
Up to 250 new jobs are expected to be created by the redevelopment plan, as well as 150 construction jobs.
Keith Mitchell, manager of the Fishergate Shopping Centre, said: “It’s important we provide our shoppers with places to eat, drink and relax to meet friends and family as part of their shopping trip, to enhance their overall social experience and present them with an engaging alternative to the convenience of internet shopping.
“We want to encourage people to spend and enjoy more time in the centre and the city.
“Reinforcing the city’s vitality and viability is crucial and building its early evening and mid-market leisure economy is a key part of that.”
What do you make of the Vue and Fishergate plans? Let us know in the comments below