Published Wednesday 24 January 2018 at 16:43
Further plans for Blackburn town centre’s exciting new independent cinema and leisure facility were revealed when the scheme was submitted for planning permission.
The new eight-screen cinema on the site of Blackburn’s former Waves Leisure Centre will include two food and drink outlets together with a licensed bar.
Developed by the Council, the new cinema will be leased to Reel Cinema, a major independent operator owned by Kailash Chander ‘KC’ Suri and will be leased for a minimum of 20 years.
The detailed plans now submitted for approval, reveal that the cinema will include a 100 space undercroft public carpark, retained by the Council which will be free for film-goers and bring much needed additional car parking capacity to the town centre.
It is intended that the carpark will attract further commercial operators to the town and support the ongoing revival of the King Georges Hall venue.
In addition, it will boast the town centre’s first Electric Vehicle Charging points, ten in total, and further reaffirm the Council’s commitment to a sustainable economy.
The new independent cinema complement’s the borough’s plans for the Northgate regeneration quarter which includes the Blakey Moor and the Fabric Border projects that were announced by the Council late last year.
The construction work will be tendered via the Council’s new Growth Framework, which was launched last week, and subject to obtaining planning approval and final Council approval, with construction scheduled to start late spring 2018 and planned to open by the end of 2019.
Cllr Phil Riley, Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
This new cinema development will draw residents into the town centre and will play a part in improving the town centre economy in Blackburn. This has been a huge priority for the Council and I’m delighted that over the past year it has gone from strength to strength including improvements in the night time economy. This will play a key role in the regeneration of the town centre and will boost economic growth in our borough.
Mr Suri said:
Coming to Blackburn is about creating something unique. I could see the potential as soon as I visited Blackburn. The new cinema will be the first of its kind in the country and will be a fusion of Hollywood, Bollywood and Independent cinema. Hopefully it will play a part in bringing communities together. It will have the very latest technology, fit for the next generation. I’m also interested what else Reel might get involved in following our acquisition of the former Jubilee Pub, now rebranded as the Lemon Tree. It’s the ideal site for leisure, close to the college and King George’s Hall brought together with a new public square.