Halton's The Hive leisure centre has signed two new pre-let operators and started on site for a 12-month build programme.
The scheme's 24-lane bowling alley will be run by Tenpin and one of its restaurants operated by Frankie and Benny's, announced the developer Widnes Regeneration, a joint venture between Halton council and St Modwen Properties.
Phase one of The Hive will include an ice rink, a multi-screen cinema operated by Reel Cinemas, the bowling alley together with retail and restaurants.
Cllr Tony McDermott, leader of Halton council, said: "The whole waterfront development is progressing confidently at the moment and by the end of this year it will have changed out of all recognition again as other developments come on stream or reach completion. This is an exciting time to be involved in the future of Widnes and the whole of Halton."
It is anticipated that the main construction work will complete in November with fit-out of the ice rink and cinema commencing before the end of the year. The Hive is due to open in spring 2009.