Preston’s Fishergate Shopping Centre will be extended and refurbished, welcoming a new Vue cinema, if plans proposed by owner Benson Elliot are delivered.
The vacant TJ Hughes store will be replaced by six store units, a new mall linking to a feature entrance from the car park and a family-oriented leisure offer of five restaurants and a fully integrated compact cinema. Vue will relocate from the Capitol Centre at Walton le Dale.
The centre will increase from 415,000 sq ft to 456,000 sq ft.
A planning application is due to be submitted shortly to Preston City Council and a public consultation exercise will begin on Friday.
The proposed development designed by Colman Architects in London includes new double height retail facades at the rear of the centre to create a more welcoming and inviting point of arrival.
Peter Cornforth, director of retail at Benson Elliot, said: “Consumer expectations have shifted considerably and now it’s time to catch up and equip Fishergate to serve Preston’s community as they would expect. In this fast-moving internet-enabled world where shopping and leisure are fusing into a seamless activity, our plans enable a positive response to the challenges and offer the major brands at Fishergate and beyond the opportunity to plan for the future.”
Geoff Moore, property director at Vue Entertainment, said: “Vue has operated a cinema in Preston since the acquisition of the Warner Village circuit in 2003. We’re delighted to support this exciting new leisure and restaurant development at the very successful Fishergate Centre, providing our customers with a world class, state-of-the-art modern cinematic experience to replace our ageing cinema at the Capitol Centre.
“Siting our brand alongside the likes of Debenhams, Primark, TK Maxx and a clutch of new family restaurants and retail stores will enhance the customer offer and create more business and jobs within the city centre.”
Further details can be seen online at www.fishergatedevelopment.co.uk
Fishergate Centre was acquired for £40m by private equity real estate fund manager Benson Elliot in August 2013 from Deloitte, acting as administrator to London & Associated Properties and Lloyds Bank.
Planning consultant DP9 is advising Benson Elliot.