Developer Neptune said it expects to submit a planning application in the coming weeks for the renovation of the former ABC cinema on Liverpool’s Lime Street.
Steve Parry, managing director, said: “We couldn’t make progress with a planning application until we were certain work could go ahead on the Eastern terrace.
“But starting work gives confidence to investors that the ABC project is going to form part of a much wider regeneration programme.”
Under proposals drawn up by architects Austin-Smith:Lord and due to be submitted to Liverpool City Council, the grade two-listed former cinema would be converted into a multi-use music and entertainment venue.
If approved, the new ABC is likely to include a music venue, TV broadcast facilities, bars and restaurants, with the flexibility to host all kinds of live music events. The proposed investment in refurbishing and converting the prominent building could be as high as £11m. The ABC cinema opened in 1931 as the Forum Cinema and was a fixture of the city centre entertainment scene until it closed in 1998.
Parry added: “We are in advanced discussions with operators and we believe it will be a fantastic venue of international standing and, given where it’s positioned, it will be saying welcome to Liverpool.”