Knowsley has paused its plans for a new cinema complex in Kirkby. Credit: via planning documents

Kirkby regen continues with leisure project

Knowsley Council has submitted plans to build a 34,000 sq ft leisure complex featuring a six-screen cinema and three restaurant units, on the site of the former Kirkby Library as part of its vision for the town centre. 

Reel Cinemas will operate the cinema and the council is in talks with occupiers for the food and beverage units. 

The one-acre site off Cherryfield Drive in Kirkby has been vacant since 2018 when the library and adjoining office block were demolished. 

Proposals for a cinema at the site were originally put forward by developer St Modwen, which held a large number of assets in the town having purchased them from supermarket giant Tesco for £36m in 2015. 

However, last year the council bought the majority of St Modwen’s assets for £44m, including the site earmarked for the cinema. 

John Francis Planning is the planning consultant and Saunders Architecture + Urban Design is the architect. 

Cllr Tony Brennan, head of regeneration at Knowsley Council, said: “It’s important we ensure we are ready to go with this scheme once funding has been secured and we have signed up the food and beverage businesses. 

“Applying for planning consent is the start of that process. As identified in our recent consultation, a cinema was a key priority for residents and businesses. We have always said that we were committed to delivering a cinema scheme, and drawing up detailed plans shows that we are delivering on that commitment.” 

Work is already underway on a town centre retail complex in Kirkby including a 45,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore, Morrisons petrol station, 20,000 sq ft Home Bargains and a drive-through KFC. 

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