Cinema ready for action in two years
THE developer behind plans for a £15m cinema scheme for Macclesfield town centre claims it could open by spring 2018.
Ask Real Estate is hoping to build a six-screen cinema, six restaurants, a cafe pod and retail unit centred around a new ‘public realm’.
It will be built on the Churchill Way car park.
At a presentation at a meeting of Make It Macclesfield last Friday the developer said it had made ‘significant progress’ with the scheme since being selected by Cheshire East Council as the preferred bidder in February.
Leon Guyett, Ask Real Estate Development director, said: “We are making significant progress with both the coun- cil and cinema tenant.”
The company has also revealed potential designs which show the cinema building in the south of the site split over two lev- els with a 3,500sq ft retail unit, two restaurants on the ground floor and six screens above.
Heading north from the cinema is the public realm rising to the second section of the development which houses more restaurants, outdoor dining space and roof gardens spread over three levels.
Two options have been explored for a strip of land to the west of the site, running the length of the development, which could be a tree-lined public space or new housing.
Ask has agreed terms with an as yet unnamed cinema company and has begun discussions with a potential ‘anchor tenant’ for the retail scheme.
The company gave examples of restaurant chains it is looking to attract including Pierre Le Bistrot, Loungers, Ask Italian, Las Iguanas, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Cote Brasseries and Wildwood.
Cheshire East Council has been keen to facilitate a leisure-led scheme following the failed £90m Silk Street redevelopment.
In a bid to avoid a repeat of the Silk Street flop contract negotiations with Ask have been vigorous.
On Friday, Ask revealed it had concluded those negotiations and instructed lawyers.
It said the next steps are to exchange contracts with the council and enter into the design development which will include community engagement.
Ask hopes the start building the development next spring with a view to opening by the spring of 2018.
After the meeting Macclesfield MP David Rutley said he was ‘very pleased’ about the progress but called for more focus on heritage and cultural aspects.
‘We are making significant progress’
Clockwise from above; the new cinema will replace Churchill Way Car Park; planning documents show the potential layout of the new scheme, with Churchill Way to the right; an artist’s impression of how the development could look