Preston City Council is working on a new planning application for the Markets cinema and leisure scheme after councillors backed plans to press ahead with the development.Advertisement
The council has confirmed the flagship £50m scheme is expected to open in 2021 after revised plans go before the council later this year.
It was hoped the cinema, restaurant and parking complex could be up and running by the end of 2020 – as previously reported when the scheme was announced in 2016 – but new estimates predict it will now be the following year.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are currently updating the programme and timeline with the developer and are expecting this will indicate a 2021 opening for the cinema.”
On Thursday, councillors from all political parties were given a report into the progress of the scheme and agreed to back the next step.
A council spokeswoman said: “Thursday’s decision was a key milestone, but there’s still a lot of work to do before the scheme is on site.
“The design is being reviewed to ensure it meets the latest operator requirements and a new planning application will be submitted later this year.”
Blog Preston sought clarification on the expected timescale after council leader Cllr Matthew Brown said the scheme was making ‘good progress’ following Thursday’s meeting.
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Work has already begun on demolishing the former Indoor Market, car park and part of Lancastria House – which is due to be replaced with an 11-screen cinema, restaurant complex and new car park.
Negotiations are still underway with Muse Development and The Light Cinemas to develop the site.
During the meeting at the Town Hall on Thursday, the press and public were excluded as councillors were given a report on how the scheme is progressing.
After the meeting, Coun Matthew Brown said: “I am pleased to say that with unanimous cross-party Council support we are able to progress with our ambitious plans for the former Market Hall and Market car park site.
“We are working hard to ensure that our plans, which include an exciting cinema and leisure offer, maximise the benefit to both Preston city centre and the wider economy.
“It is important to us that the development complements Preston Markets and the burgeoning leisure and cultural offer in the city centre, as well as deliver our core values of community wealth building and social value in every achievable way.
“I look forward to working with Muse and The Light Cinemas to achieve this exciting development for the city.”
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Cabinet member for resources and performance Cllr Martyn Rawlinson, confirmed earlier this week that talks with Muse Developement and the Light Cinemas are still underway.
He said: “As with any development scheme, the Council is undertaking due diligence, which can take considerable time.
“Due to ongoing commercial negotiations, we are unable to provide any more specific information at this time.”
What do you think about the new timescale and update on the markets scheme? Let us know in the comments below