The regeneration of Preston’s Harris Quarter is a step closer to becoming a reality.
It comes after city leaders voted on a decision relating to the continuing development of the Harris Quarter in Preston.
What the decision was about was kept under wraps and discussed in a meeting yesterday at which members of the press and public were excluded.
However, in a statement afterwards leader of PCC coun Matthew Brown said: “I am pleased to say that with unanimous cross-party council support we are able to progress with our ambitious plans for the former Market Hall and Market car park site.
“We are working hard to ensure that our plans, which include an exciting cinema and leisure offer, maximise the benefit to both Preston city centre and the wider economy.
“It is important to us that the development complements Preston Markets and the burgeoning leisure and cultural offer in the city centre, as well as deliver our core values of community wealth building and social value in every achievable way.
“I look forward to continuing to work alongside Muse and The Light Cinemas to achieve this exciting development for the city.”
During the meeting members were updated on the project’s progress.
Conservative coun David Walker said: "The whole Harris area is coming together nicely. The Conservatives fully support the hard work done by the council officers, specialised consultants, and councillors.
"It is good to see the public sector working with a respected UK private developers, and equity funding to progress this phase.
"For the first time in nearly 50 years the box office cinema sales have increased. Food outlets will complement the cinema as well as increasing the footfall in this area, much needed for the market traders and local retail shops. I’m sure Simon Rigby and the Shankly Hotel will support this council initiative."
In addition to a modern cinema, the scheme’s initial designs include restaurants which will face Preston Market Hall, and the creation of a new public square.
There are also plans for a 250 space multi-storey car park providing a gateway frontage with direct access from Ringway.