£50m city centre investment will be ‘truly spectacular’

How Prestons new cinema at the Market Quarter could look. See letter
How Prestons new cinema at the Market Quarter could look. See letter
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An 11-screen cinema, seven restaurants and a new multi-storey car park are to be brought to Preston’s Markets Quarter as part of a “spectacular” £50m regeneration project.

Breathtaking new images have been released, along with the announcement of a public consultation, beginning next weekend.

The cinema forms part of the wider revamp of the Markets Quarter, including the refurbishment of the two listed market canopies and the construction of a glazed market hall.

Developers have revealed that The Light cinema chain will operate the proposed cinema, with a “large-format experience screen”.

It will feature digital picture and sound auditoriums, VIP luxury seating and will show the latest in blockbusters, independent and international films, plus live opera, ballet, theatre and pop concerts.

The events will be beamed in, and shown live on the cinema screen.

Mike Horner, regional director of Muse Developments, said: “We are working extremely hard to deliver a high quality scheme which is long overdue for Preston city centre.

“The proposals are truly spectacular and will include views out across the city centre and beyond.

“The Light are making a name for themselves in new cinema experiences and they are a great fit for Preston as they do not solely show mainstream cinema releases but also a wide range of other arts, culture, sporting and educational productions – it is not ‘more of the same’ in terms of cinema provision but a destination that will truly excite local residents and get people back into the city centre.

“The Markets Quarter redevelopment is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the perception of Preston city centre and establish it as the premier family-focused leisure destination.”

Keith Pullinger, chief executive of The Light, said: “We are extremely excited to be working alongside Muse to deliver the council’s vision for the Markets Quarter area.

“Preston is such an amazing opportunity to provide a high quality cinema facility which the city has been lacking for a considerable period of time.”

Lorraine Norris, chief executive of Preston Council, added: “The Markets Quarter is a flagship development for Preston. It’s about breathing new life into the market and securing the wider regeneration of Preston city centre.

“It’s also about Preston raising its game and fulfilling its role as the economic and cultural centre of Lancashire.

“This is a chance for people to see the scale of the ambition and the true potential that this development offers.

“Markets Quarter is wholesale regeneration of the centre and complements the future investments in the Bus Station, the Guild Hall and the Harris.”

Chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Edwin Booth, said the development would bring in more visitors and create new jobs.

He said: “A successful Markets Quarter will make an important contribution to the growth of Preston city centre which lies at the heart of the City Deal area.”

And John Bridge, of Frank Whittle Partnership, said they would work with Greig and Stephenson Architects on the project “to build a lasting legacy for the future, by both respecting our city’s heritage and moving with the times.”

The consultation event, with representatives from organisations behind the plans, is to be held at St. George’s Shopping Centre on April 9 and April 11 from 11am to 3pm.

It comes as plans are soon to be considered for a £40m regeneration of the Fishergate Shopping Centre, including new shops, a restaurant and food cluster and a new cinema.