The first shovels in the ground could arrive as early as August, according to council leader Earl Matthew Brown.
And he also revealed that while many high street brands are interested in acquiring units in the new venue, smaller local businesses may still be able to get a piece of the action with slots in the area. of restoration.
In his leader’s update to Thursday’s full council meeting, Councilor Brown will tell councilors that the construction start date is now scheduled for August/September, earlier than the October estimate given he barely a month ago.
Cinema group signs up for pride of place at new Preston Leisure Complex
Animate’s two flagship tenants have already signed up – an eight-screen cinema and a 16-lane bowling alley.
Independent company Arc Cinema has taken a 25-year lease on a 29,500 square foot unit, the largest in the complex.
They followed Hollywood Bowl which was the first to apply for a prime spot in the state-of-the-art council-owned development on the site of the former covered market and multi-storey car park which were both demolished in 2019.
Hollywood Bowl will feature computerized hallways with “plush seating, an elegant bar and restaurant, and a state-of-the-art entertainment area.”
Four of Animate’s restaurants are reportedly on offer, and announcements about who will be moving in could be made soon.
The scheme, first dreamed up in 2010 as part of the ill-fated £700million redevelopment of Tithebarn, could be up and running by spring 2024.
It is estimated that the complex could contribute around £7million to the local economy and provide 140 full-time equivalent jobs when fully operational.
In his report to the board, Councilor Brown will say that after the signing of Arc and the Hollywood Bowl: “Many other well-known brands are expected to follow.
“But there are also opportunities for small businesses made available through the proposed food court.
“Based on current plans, spikes in the ground are expected in August/September 2022.”
Animate will be Preston Council’s largest project and will fill the gap between Ringway and the new Market Hall.