Cinema ready for ac­tion in two years

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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’

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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

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