Preston approves £40m Animate
Along with Maple Grove Developments’ 168,000 sq ft leisure scheme, the city council has greenlit housing and a district retail centre in Cottam.
Animate, which will feature an eight-screen cinema and 16-lane bowling alley, is one of the more keenly-awaited projects in the city.
MGD is the development partner for the site, formerly home to Preston’s indoor market. The firm first got involved in 2019 after plans put forward by Muse, and approved in 2016, stalled. The developers had initially joined forces in reworking the project.
Preston City Council is to contribute £33m towards the project costs. Further elements of the scheme include five restaurant units and a 164-space car park.
The project team includes architect Leach Rhodes Walker, CBRE as planner, Planit IE as landscape architect, Civic Engineers as highways consultant, Gleeds advising on cost and Waterman as M&E consultant and structural engineer.
GIA is advising on wind and Warrington Fire is the fire engineer.
The committee also unanimously approved BXB Cottam Properties’ plans for phase two at the former Cottam Brickworks site,
The project includes 89 homes and a district retail centre anchored by Aldi – 229 car parking spaces have also been approved.
Work is already under way on 114 affordable homes for housing association Jigsaw at the 14-acre site, while consent had been secured to remediate the remainder of the plot.
BXB director Gary Goodman said that work can now begin: “This consent now gives us the comfort to invest in the site’s remediation and discussions are now underway to bring that forward.
“Delivery of the district centre depends upon our ability to acquire a small portion of land from Lancashire County Council and Homes England and discussions remain ongoing in this regard. A deal will unlock hundreds of new jobs, vital retail provision and large amounts of rateable income for the local authority.”
Aldi property director Adam Robson said the retailer would be able to confirm a timescale for the store’s opening once discussions with Lancashire County Council and Homes England are complete.
Cottam remains one of Preston’s main strategic housing areas, with plans now in the works to serve a number of developments with a rail link.
The architect for the BXB scheme is The Harris Partnership, with Nexus Planning engaged as lead planning consultant.