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Haverhill Multiplex Wins Backing

Wednesday, 28th June 2006.

A five-screen multiplex cinema funded by St Edmundsbury Borough Council has moved a step closer after the scheme proposed for Haverhill won backing from both full council and the board of leading UK operator Cineworld.

St Edmundsbury’s full council voted in favour of investing £9.25 million in creating the complex last night. The proposal had already won the unanimous support of the council’s Cabinet and last week, directors from popular multiplex chain Cineworld, which runs a highly successful complex in Bury St Edmunds, also gave their backing to the project.

Although there are still many negotiations to complete, it is hoped a planning application for the 17,500 sq ft cinema will be lodged within the next few months. If it wins planning consent, the complex will be built by developers Citygrove, which constructed the Bury multiplex, and will boast two top national chain restaurants, one well-known drive-through and a shop dedicated for leisure use. The development will lie next to Haverhill’s Leisure Centre in Ehringshausen Way and will provide employment for local people. It is hoped work on the complex, which will cater for audiences of between 900 and 980 people, could be complete by summer 2008.

Cllr John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Leader, said:

“I am delighted this exciting initiative has got the go-ahead from both full council and from Cineworld, which operates many a highly popular and successful multiplex throughout the country. We can now work towards creating a new leisure offer for Haverhill and its surrounding areas. This will not only help to boost Haverhill’s economy and stimulate plans to develop its town centre further within our masterplan, but will also provide one of the things which has consistently been at the top of Haverhill’s wish list.”

Environmental improvements will be made to the area around the complex as part of the project, while plans for additional car parking will also be considered.

Cllr Jeff Stevens, Chairman of the Haverhill Area Working Party, said:

“This news is extremely positive and will uplift the entire area while bringing an exciting new dimension to leisure provision in Haverhill. The complex will not only delight those living in Haverhill, but will also draw people into the town from the surrounding areas, providing a massive boost to the whole community. We are now one step closer to turning the long-held dream of so many residents into a reality.”

Consultation has shown a new cinema has consistently been a number one priority for residents of Haverhill and the surrounding area. Members of St Edmundsbury’s Youth Forum have also been fully supportive of the plans to build a multiplex.

Alex Pickett, who is 16-years-old and a member of the Forum, said:

“This brings an opportunity for people in Haverhill to see the latest films without having to go out of the town, which in turn can benefit the community as well as providing a variety of jobs. It will be great to have different types of restaurants and will give a place for young people to go in the evenings. I for one can't wait to see it open!”

The cinema complex will be part-funded with £3.25 million taken from the £10 million pot of cash set aside to deliver the masterplan, while up to £6 million will be taken from St Edmundsbury’s capital reserves.

St Edmundsbury will receive income from renting the cinema and restaurants to the operator, which means the complex can be delivered at little or no extra cost to Council Taxpayers.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Haverhill Online News

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