Secret meeting on the future of cinema

A vision of how Preston's market quarter could look. View is looking from Orchard Street.
A vision of how Preston's market quarter could look. View is looking from Orchard Street.
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A secret meeting is to be held to discuss the future of Preston’s major markets and cinema development.

The talks at the Town Hall are to discuss the financing of the planning applications for the projects, specifically the cinema, and the appointment of partners and consultants.

Applications are expected to be submitted later this year, and the leader of Preston Council said the authority was making “good progress” with the development.

Coun Peter Rankin said: “Plans for both the new market hall and cinema development are advancing as planned toward the submission of planning applications.

“This report deals with financing and the appointment of partners and consultants to assist in that process.”

Councillors are expected to discuss details relating specifically to the “game-changing” cinema development, running in parallel with the markets project, at the meeting on Tuesday, where the press and public are excluded.

It is understood the funding for the planning and design of the project is in partnership with City Deal.

Preston-based architects and surveyors the Frank Whittle Partnership has already been appointed as the lead consultant on the development of the city’s historic markets. They will work in partnership with architects Greig and Stephenson, specialists in market developments.

Work is to begin on the Fish Market, the smaller of the two canopies, later this month, with plans due to be submitted for the market structure underneath the larger canopy in the first half of this year.

Coun Rankin said about £400,000 was to be spent revamping the Fish Market, taking it back to the original framework and painting it original colours of grey, black, silver and red.

He said: “The plan is to have the Victorian structure back as it was in Victorian time, with the added benefit of spot-lighting, so it’s going to look fantastic. Then when that work is finished, that will take four months, they’ll move on to the big covered market and that will have exactly the same sort of make-over.” It will be followed by the building of a structure underneath it for current indoor traders.