Northgate cinema operator named as Picturehouse

Cheshire West & Chester Council has signed a leasing agreement with Picturehouse to run a six-screen cinema due to be built within the £300m mixed-use Northgate development.

Picturehouse Cinemas own and operate 23 cinemas and programme a further 45 venues across the UK. The venues incorporate café bars, restaurants and live events alongside traditional movie-going.

The six-screen cinema will provide more than 715 seats, on the upper levels of the scheme, with a ground-level foyer and café bar opening onto the new Market Square and Hunter Street.

Cheshire West & Chester Council said the Picturehouse would be complementary to the new cultural centre being built in Chester, Storyhouse, which will be made up of an 850-seat theatre, library and 100-seat arts cinema.

Northgate is a 400,000 sq ft retail-led mixed use scheme incorporating residential, hotel, market, offices and the Picturehouse cinema, planned for the North West of Chester city centre.

David Lewis of Rivington Land, development manager for Chester Northgate, said: “Securing Picturehouse as the leisure anchor represents an important milestone in the delivery of Chester Northgate. The quality of its operation will raise the bar of the leisure offer in the city. The level of interest shown from the cinema market and now subsequently by the food and beverage operators shows what confidence occupiers have in Chester as a strong trading location. Significant and tangible progress on the delivery of this scheme is building nicely in a market place bereft of many new high-quality, retail-led developments.”

A planning application for Northgate was submitted at the end of May, and a planning decision is due later this month. If the scheme gets the go-ahead, construction of the first main phase is expected to begin in early 2018, with the cinema, adjacent hotel, new market, cafés and restaurants anticipated to open in late 2019.

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