Muse Developments and Cinema Next have been appointed to deliver the Markets Quarter redevelopment in Preston city centre for the local authority.
As well as a new cinema the project will include improved markets including renovation of the listed covered outdoor market.
The council is currently consulting market traders on the proposed market development to help refine and improve the final plans. Subject to agreement with traders, the next stage is to amend the final plans and seek planning permission during late 2015 or early 2016.
Cllr Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “The Markets are important to Preston and a key part of the city’s culture and heritage. So we want to invest in the markets and provide a new market that is better for customers and traders alike. The next stage is to consult with market traders to make sure we can deliver a market that is vibrant, sustainable and fit for the city of Preston.”
Mike Horner, regional director of Muse Developments,said: “Preston is a great city and a great place to invest. It has huge potential and we are delighted to be on board with the Markets Quarter development. These really are exciting plans for Preston, indeed for the North West. We are looking at a major cinema development – one that would draw people from across the county. And with a cinema you also attract a wide range of restaurants and bars that will really complement the re-vitalised markets and Preston’s cultural offer. So, lots for Preston to be positive and proud about.”
John Sullivan, head of consulting at Cinema Next, said: “The cinema study for Preston that we completed last year clearly demonstrates the enormous potential for a major new cinema development in the centre of this stunning city. Historically Preston has been at the forefront of cinema development in the UK and the cinema industry is beginning to wake up again to the potential that this city is once again leading the way.”
In a separate development, the council said the former Post Office building in Birley Street will be actively marketed for hotel and leisure development.