Plans lodged for Preston's £40m cinema and leisure complex, Animate

Plans for a multi-million pound cinema and leisure complex in Preston have taken an important step forward.

By Julia Bennett
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 2:01 pm

The proposal for the £40m development - named Animate - includes an eight-screen cinema, 16 lane bowling alley, competitive social unit (suitable for a range of uses), five family

restaurants, a street food hub, public realm improvements, 164 space car park and a Changing Places’ facility and associated servicing arrangements.

A planning application for the city owned complex, which would be situated next to the Preston Markets, on the site of the old indoor market and car park at Earl Street/Tenterfield Street,

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Artist impression of the proposed new complex in Preston, Animate

Preston, has now been lodged by Preston City Council and Maple Grove Developments.

If planning permission is granted, work could begin on site next summer.

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Since the scheme was first proposed, plans have progressed to improve the previously consented proposals and respond to the current leisure market trends.

Artist impression of the proposed new complex in Preston, Animate

The Animate scheme aims to bring over £7million of extra economic activity every year while creating 140 full time equivalent jobs.

Subject to planning permission being granted, it is anticipated construction work on the project could begin in 2022 with the complex opening in spring 2024.

A period of consultation will be open to allow the public the opportunity to express their views on the proposed development.

The application will be considered and decided by the Planning Committee, which is made up of elected councillors.

Coun Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, said: “This planning application is the vital next step in the Animate scheme, which aims to bring key investment and jobs to benefit

the people of Preston, as well as stimulating investment in the surrounding area.

"It is a central part of our ambitions for a more democratic local economy with the asset retained in city ownership once developed.

"The scheme aims to enhance the leisure offer within the city centre, build resiliency as we recover from Covid and make Preston a key destination to live, work and visit. Now the

application has been submitted, it will be considered by the planning committee who will make their decision over the coming weeks.”

Andrew Dewhurst, director of Maple Grove Developments, said: “This joint planning application, submitted by Preston City Council and Maple Grove Developments aims to create a

leading leisure destination within the city centre.

"We’ve worked closely with the City Council and Leach Rhodes Walker Architects in developing the design and scheme content, to ensure the Animate project will meet the goal of creating

a thriving, sustainable city centre offer for everyone to enjoy.”

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