Empire Cinemas in the can for Royal Arcade scheme in Crewe

Regeneration plans for Crewe town centre have taken a step forward with the announcement that Empire Cinemas has agreed terms for a new state-of-the-art eight-screen multiplex.

The 800-seat cinema will be centre-piece of the Royal Arcade scheme, which Peveril Securities and their development managers, Cordwell Property Group, have been working on since being selected as Cheshire East Council’s preferred development partners last year.

The new cinema is part of the wider £69m regeneration of the town centre, which will include new restaurants, a bowling alley, a new shopping centre, a new relocated bus station and a multi-story car park.  Cheshire & Warrington LEP has granted £10m of Local Growth Funding towards the scheme which is expected to be complete by Summer 2021.

Justin Ribbons, of Empire Cinemas, said: “We share the ambitious plans of the council and the developer for the regeneration of Crewe town centre and believe that our cinema can play a big part in reviving the night-time economy of Crewe and make it an exciting place for families to spend their time. We are also committed to working with local businesses and organisations to help make Empire the heart of the local community.”

Cordwell Property Group has also confirmed that it is in advanced talks with other occupiers in the Royal Arcade scheme, including restaurant owners.

Cllr Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for planning, housing and regeneration, said: “This is great news for Crewe and only the start of delivering the council’s ambitious programme to regenerate the town centre which, along with HS2, will truly transform Crewe as a place to live, work and visit.

“The council will continue working hard with the developer to deliver the full investment programme, with more exciting news to be announced soon. Alongside investment from Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, the council will be supporting the costs of the public elements of the scheme.”

Peveril and Cordwell have also released new images of their plans for the overall redevelopment, which will form part of their planning application next year.

William Warrack, Cordwell spokesman, said: “We have been working closely with the council and Empire to create some exciting designs, which are unique to Crewe. We’ll also be working with other stakeholders, such as Cheshire College SW, to ensure that, during the construction of the scheme, we involve local people and give them opportunities to learn and take part in the work.

“We’ve just launched a website for the project, which provides more information for residents and businesses which will be updated as our plans progress and we welcome feedback and suggestions as to how we can work in partnership with the community.

“We are expecting to finalise plans over the coming months and commence works on site late summer 2019. Whilst this is later than originally planned, we are confident that we can move forward at pace and deliver a completed scheme by summer 2021.”

For more information go to www.royalarcadecrewe.co.uk