Borough council puts its part of The Crescent up for sale
A council expects to make “several million pounds” when it sells part of the town’s shopping and leisure complex.
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council is still the owner of the portion of the town centre’s Crescent development.
It owns the area of the £60 million centre where the cinema is situated but now intends to put the land on the market.
Cash from the sale will go towards the council’s other major capital plans, such as the development of a crematorium off Clickers Way, near Barwell.
The council said businesses in The Crescent will be unaffected by the sale.
The council salvaged the struggling development project in 2013 by providing a £7 million loan and invested about £4.5 million in securing the arrival of Cineworld.
More than £2 million was spent on buying the freehold for Block C, the location of the multi-screen cinema.
A similar amount was given to Cineworld as a fixed capital contribution incentive payment to help the film firm fit out the five-screen facility. Legal fees made up the rest.
The developer, Tin Hat Regeneration Partnership, sold its stake in the scheme last year and now the council is following suit
Conservative council leader Mike Hall said: “The council was pleased to be able to help this development go ahead but owning bits of leisure complexes is not really our job so now we feel it is time to get the money back for the public.
“We will lose a bit of income through rental but we want to put the capital to use on things like a crematorium.
“It has always been the council’s intention to dispose of the site to a more specialist management company and the timing is now right for us to do this so that we can fund new projects without the need to borrow.
“Although the council receives a net income from the site which has helped to keep council tax for our residents among the lowest in the country, it is a diversion from delivering our day-today services.
“We are now of the opinion the council can step aside knowing The Crescent will continue to deliver shopping, dining and leisure facilities for the residents of Hinckley and Bosworth.”
The Crescent in Hinckley. Pictured is Tarro Lounge and Cineworld above it. This section is owned by the council