Mulitplex giant Odeon has been revealed as the ‘big name’ behind Northwich’s long-awaited new cinema.
The UK’s largest cinema chain has agreed terms to operate a digital five-screen cinema at the heart of the iconic Barons Quay development.
The announcement by developers Cheshire West and Chester Council comes just weeks after Asda revealed plans for a 68,000 sq feet superstore at the £80m riverside development.
Cllr Herbert Manley, executive member for growth and innovation, said: “I am delighted to confirm that we have finalised legal agreements with Odeon and are looking forward to welcoming them to Northwich in winter 2016/17.
“Today’s news - which comes hot on the heels of the Asda announcement - means that Barons Quay will boast two market-leading anchor tenants.
“The commitment of Odeon and Asda to this exciting scheme will form a strong basis for ensuring a wide range of top quality retail and leisure offer is put in place.”
The Odeon’s arrival will herald the return of cinema to Northwich a decade after the closure of The Regal in January 2007.
The council has approved the massive development project which will create 1,600 jobs and transform Northwich into one of the North West’s busiest market towns by 2016.
It will regenerate a neglected 26-acre site into a thriving retail and leisure quarter which embraces the waterfront setting and integrates with existing shopping areas.
David Watson, chairman of the Weaver Valley Partnership, said: “This is more good news about this exciting scheme for Northwich.
“Not only will the Odeon Cinema bring a new leisure dimension for local residents, it will also create jobs - especially for young people - as well as enhancing the tourism offer of the town.”
Local Councillor Amy Mercer-Bailey said: “At last - the news that the people of Northwich have been waiting for. I am thrilled that Odeon is coming to Barons Quay.
“No longer will residents be forced to travel to Crewe or Ellesmere Port to see the latest blockbuster. Soon they will have a state-of-the-art cinema right on their doorstep.
“After spending too long in decline, Northwich is finally turning its fortunes around. Regeneration is happening and it is creating a town we can all be proud of.”
In addition to the cinema and superstore, Barons Quay will feature seven restaurants plus a hotel and cafes enjoying tranquil waterside views.
The development will include more than 130,000 sq ft of new retail floor space and hundreds of car parking spaces.
Tushingham Moore and Lambert Smith Hampton, which acted on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, have now been appointed to secure the next phase of occupiers for the mixed use scheme.