Light to anchor £65m Stockport development

Stockport Council said it will submit a planning application for the revised Bridgefield leisure scheme this month, as it unveiled the anchor tenant, The Light Cinemas.

The Light, which operates at Neptune's Marine Point in New Brighton and has an agreement in place to open in Bolton, will operate a new multiplex cinema at the 80,000 sq ft development on the site of the Bridgefield Street car park in Stockport town centre.

Cllr Patrick McAuley, executive member for regeneration and economic development at Stockport Council, said: "This is another hugely significant step forward in the regeneration of Stockport town centre.

"The quality of the Light Cinemas' offer to the public is fantastic and we are delighted to welcome them to Stockport.

"Their decision demonstrates Stockport's appeal as a location and the growing confidence in our borough. And we encourage other businesses to find out more about further opportunities within the Bridgefield development."

Keith Pullinger, director of The Light, said: "We are very excited to have committed to this great cinema development in Stockport. We see this as a focal point to support the town centre regeneration and we are determined to deliver a high quality cinema experience for all our customers. Around 35 new jobs will also be created as part of this initiative and we would like to thank Stockport Council for creating this opportunity."

The Light Cinemas has established a strong following in Wirral with its open-door approach to film scheduling, allowing community groups to shape the programme and asking for recommendations on Facebook, as well as screening London West End theatre shows and major sporting events live among a range of novel moves for the sector. The Stockport venue will contain 10 digital screens, luxury seating throughout and a licensed café bar.

The Bridgefield development will also see the construction of a new 400-space multi-storey car park linking to the Debenhams and Merseyway car parks, creating a total of 1,200 spaces in the vicinity.

There will be 10 ground-floor retail and leisure units fronting a new pedestrianised urban realm in Bridgefield Street and links to the wider town centre.

The project team working with Stockport Council, acting as developer, includes GVA, Gardiner Theobald, BDP and Lunson Mitchenall.

The council's executive approved funding for the £65m Bridgefield scheme in December 2013.

Pending planning approval, the council said work would start on construction in summer 2015 with the new complex opening in early 2017.

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