PLANS for a cinema complex in Cirencester may not be dead, with the developer once again in talks with the district council.
After repeated delays on construction led to the company due to manage the cinema – Everyman Media Group – backing out, it appeared that the Brewery Court development may never happen.
But Cotswold District Council (CDC) has been in discussions with the developer, Wildmoor Property Management Ltd, and wants to press on the with the £48million scheme, which includes a four-screen cinema, six shops, four restaurants and 110-bed student accommodation.
However, Wildmoor’s planning consent from CDC expires on November 24, and many are cynical about the chances of the cinema ever being completed by the firm.
But Cirencester’s mayor, Cllr, Mark Harris, who has spoken with Wildmoor’s managing director Mark Booth, said he was positive the complex would go ahead.
“If they want it to go ahead, I don’t see why it shouldn’t,” Cllr Harris said. “Lots of people in Cirencester want a cinema. It will be nice to have some certainty.”
He added that the expiry of the planning consent would be a small obstacle as “it just means they will have to apply again”.
Oli Christie, the CEO of Cirencester-based business Neon Play, also supports the scheme.
“The town is fairly dead at night so having a cinema and more restaurants would massively help the town,” he said.
“Neon Play employees who live in the town are desperate for a cinema.”
CDC has made progressing the Brewery Court development a priority for 2017/18 in a draft update of its corporate strategy, which will be voted on by cabinet members today.
A CDC spokesman said: “We are still waiting to agree terms with the developer. The council has approved the land transaction in principle but we understand the developer is considering small amendments to the scheme which may require additional approvals.”
Leigh Chapman, co-director of Jungle clothing store, which moved from Brewery Court to Black Jack Street in October to make way for the redevelopment, said he would “remain sceptical until the hard facts come out,” adding: “Which cinema group is taking over? Who is financing it? And when is it going to start? We need more substance.”
Cllr Joe Harris was equally doubtful, saying: “I’d find it amazing if it went ahead.”