Approval nears for £40m Preston regen
Animate is a 168,000 sq ft mixed-use development on the city’s former indoor market site that is being delivered by Maple Grove Developments for the local council.
The scheme features an eight-screen cinema and a 16-lane Hollywood Bowl. Further elements of the project include five restaurant units, a unit earmarked for a social competitive operator, and a 164-space car park.
Preston City Council has recommended Maple Grove’s plans be approved when its planning committee meets next week.
If the scheme is given the green light, it will be the second time the city council has granted approval to a mixed-use development on the site.
Muse Developments was appointed as Preston City Council’s development partner for the site in 2015. In 2016, the company won planning consent to create an 11-screen cinema, seven family restaurants, and a 593-space multi-storey car park, but work never started on site.
Maple Grove came on board in 2019 and reworked the proposals. Muse is no longer involved in the project.
Animate is expected to boost Preston’s economy by £7m a year and create around 140 jobs, according to the council.
Subject to planning approval, work could start on site in the middle of the year. Completion is projected for spring 2024.
Last August, Preston City Council agreed to contribute £33m towards the £40m development.
In addition, around £3.5m will come from Preston’s £20.9m Towns Deal award, and a further £3.25m will be from the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
The project team includes Leach Rhodes Walker as architect, CBRE as planner, Planit IE as landscape architect, Civic Engineers as highways consultant, Gleeds advising on cost, Waterman as M&E consultant and structural engineer, GIA is advising on wind and Warrington Fire is the fire engineer.
Andrew Dewhurst, development director at Maple Grove Developments, said: “We are very excited about the prospect of bringing a major leisure destination to the city of Preston. The scheme will undoubtedly be a major boost for the city and we hope for a positive outcome at committee.”
CBRE and Bradys are the agents for the scheme.