Cinema signs up to Clock Towers' new plan - The Rugby Observer

Cinema signs up to Clock Towers' new plan

Rugby Editorial 2nd Oct, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

A CINEMA chain is “champing at the bit” to move to the town centre as part of a revised plan to expand the Clock Towers Shopping Centre.

The centre has abandoned its plan to include a department store in the extension due to lack of interest from retailers.

Instead, its revised £20 million redevelopment plan has shifted focus onto leisure, with an as-yet-unnamed cinema lined up and ready to move in.

The new planning application describes an external public space providing an entrance into the town centre, which will lead through to the existing mall.

Two landmark ‘anchor units’ are planned for each corner of Evreux Way, while a five-screen digital cinema is proposed next to the new northern entrance.

Five restaurant/cafés are also planned, alongside three other flexible units and a retail unit.

The application states this would “increase the overall attractiveness of the town centre as a place to shop and visit, reducing outflow of comparison spend to surrounding towns”.

It added the department store plan, submitted last year and approved by the council in January, had to be abandoned due to a lack of interest.

Clock Towers manager Tony Spencer said he was confident the new plan had the backing to succeed.

He said: “We’ve got the cinema lined up to come into the centre and they’re champing at the bit to get in.

“There’s a large amount of interest in the scheme, and solid interest from food and beverage operators.”

“We had to review the plans dependent on the interest from the retail market as far as department store is concerned.

“Obviously with things changing further on the outside of town, we’ve had to change our view on what we do going forward.

“Town centres are changing. Some town centres are changing to be a leisure-based destination rather than a retail-based destination.”

The new application is in direct competition to a rival plan to bring a supermarket to the site, originally submitted in 2011 and revived in August of this year.

The competing plan, which has yet to be approved, has earmarked the land for a foodstore with in-store café, additional retail units, two levels of parking beneath the store, and what has been described ‘a striking gateway’ building at the to the town centre.

Planning agents Peacock & Smith have not revealed the name of the supermarket on whose behalf the application was made, and no supermarkets have publicly attached themselves to the scheme.


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