Café bar chain Loungers coming to Preston’s Animate leisure complex

Posted on - 22nd February, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
An artist's impression of how Animate will look
An artist’s impression of how Animate will look

Café bar chain Loungers has signed a 15-year lease at Animate, Preston’s city-owned £45m cinema and leisure complex.


The chain has taken a 4,265 sq ft unit at an initial rent of £100,000 per annum. It joins anchor tenants The Arc Cinema and Hollywood Bowl, as well as other national and regional restaurants and a street food hub.

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The announcement comes after Eric Wright Construction started on site last month.

Read more: Main building phase starts at Preston’s Animate entertainment and leisure complex

Designed by Leach Rhodes Walker and delivered by Maple Grove Developments, the wider development will also offer a 164 space car park and an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining.


Only three units are now left – for a restaurant, a food hub and a competitive social space.

Animate building site from above
Construction at Animate started in January 2023

Gemma Irwin, Community Manager at Loungers, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Loungers to Preston.

“A real home-from-home, we’ll cater for all tastes throughout the day with a varied and innovative all-day menu.  Whether it’s a coffee with friends, a long lazy brunch with family or a relaxed dinner and drinks, our Lounge will be the perfect place to relax and unwind in good company.

“Our Lounges strive to put community at the heart of hospitality and our teams always go the extra mile to make a difference.”

Inside a Lounge cafe bar
Lounges are also due to open in other locations including Leeds and Kendal this year

Councillor David Borrow, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation, said: “Loungers is a substantial operator in the UK hospitality sector and the business has proved to be one of the rising stars in the industry over the past three years.

“It’s commitment to Animate is testament to the attractiveness of Preston as a great place to invest in and do business here.”

The scheme is funded and owned by Preston City Council, with £3.4m support from the Towns Fund and £3.25m from the City Deal.

The scheme’s complementary public realm improvements are being supported by a Lancashire County Council Economic Recovery Grant of £800,000.

Read more: Plans progressing to transform Amounderness House into multi-use workspace hub

The Animate development is a key project in Preston’s 15-year City Investment Plan and is one of six major projects planned under Preston’s Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme, for which the city was awarded £20.9m from the government’s national Towns Fund initiative in March 2021.

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