Burnley Council’s executive is recommending that a special meeting of the full council approve a financial package to make proposals for a leisure development in Burnley town centre a reality.
Plans to create an eight-screen cinema, together with supporting restaurants and car parking, on the former Pioneer site in Curzon Street were approved in late 2018.
Due to the current challenging market conditions a revised, phased scheme has been developed, with the initial phase comprising an eight-screen cinema and five restaurants.
A report to the council’s executive said that if council financial support for the scheme went ahead work to prepare the site for construction could begin late next year with the revised scheme being completed by spring 2023.
The executive is recommending that a meeting of the full council on 4th November agrees the financial support. The council’s scrutiny committee has already discussed the proposals and supported the package.
Council leader Councillor Mark Townsend said: “Burnley has a thriving shopping centre that serves our residents and brings in visitors from a wide area.
“Having a multi-screen cinema in the town centre, along with new restaurants, will help draw in even more people and that will mean more visitors to nearby shops and cafes. It would provide a massive boost for the town centre economy and fits with our ambitions to see Burnley become a university town thanks to the expansion of UCLan, and Burnley College.”
Councillor Asif Raja, executive member for economy and growth, said: “This is a long-term project and we need to be putting proposals in place now so they can come to fruition in a few years’ time. We will come out of the current pandemic and projects like this will help make sure our local economy is prepared for the recovery.”
It is estimated the construction of the development would support around 180 jobs, with a further 100-plus new jobs being created in the cinema and supporting food outlets.
If agreed, the scheme has already secured £3 million from LCC and a further £3.6 million from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), subject to financial business case approval. The council would borrow money to help cover the remainder of the cost of the development and recover this from rental income.