The Hive leisure centre in Widnes

Halton unblocks Venture Fields

Work on the 12-month construction of the new leisure complex in Widnes is due to begin in the spring after Halton Council put extra funding into the project.

Widnes Regeneration, the joint venture between St Modwen and Halton Borough Council, will deliver a new five-screen cinema by Reel Cinemas, an ice rink, bowling alley together, hotel and restaurant. The complex is expected to be open to the public in spring 2011.

Richard Bakes, of St Modwen, said: "St Modwen has been working closely with Halton Borough Council to deliver this exciting and much needed leisure facility for the residents of Halton Borough Council. Although progress to date has been slow, thanks to the additional funding provided by the council to support the delivery of the scheme, we anticipate that work will now start on site this spring.

"Discussions are ongoing with the Council and our existing tenants to ensure that we can achieve this target and we hope to be in a position to announce a full tenant line up in the next couple of weeks. On behalf of St. Modwen I would also like to express our gratitude to Halton Borough Council for their support and patience, through the last 18 months, whilst we worked with them to deliver this exciting development."

David Parr, chief executive of Halton Borough Council, said: "The council is working with St Modwen to deliver this very exciting leisure opportunity, which will offer much needed new facilities for the residents of Halton and attract residents from adjacent areas, to what will be regionally significant facilities."

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