British Land has exchanged contracts with Cineworld to run the anchor cinema complex as part of the £42 million redevelopment of Bretonside.
The 12 screen cinema will incorporate state of the art audio and visual technology and have screens ranging in size from a 63 seat to a giant 450-seat IMAX auditoria.
The deal means all the conditions have now been met by the developers which unlocks funds to get started on the new coach station that will replace the dated bus station.
Consultant Jonathan Dean was in Plymouth today give the Council’s cabinet a progress report on behalf of British Land.
And as well as unveiling the latest fly-through and images of the £42 million planned development, he told cabinet that there had been a huge amount of interest in food businesses hoping to become part of the venture.
British Land is working closely with potential businesses and has had strong demand from companies with a number expected to sign contracts before the end of the year.
He said: “Drake Circus Leisure is an exciting scheme and we are delighted to be one step closer to delivering the project. The recent letting to Cineworld and interest from restaurant operators has allowed us to accelerate our plans, and we are excited to be working with the Council to enhance the city centre.”
Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets and City Centre champion Mark Lowry said: “This is a critical milestone in the scheme as it signals the move from the planning stage towards delivery on the ground.
“Now that these conditions have been met, we are in a positon to begin drawing down funds for the new coach station.
“I’m chuffed to bits that so many companies are lining up to be part of this complex and part of Plymouth’s success story. This will add another string to the city centre’s bow and keep more people coming, both during the day and in the evening.”
British Land has now issued the ‘coach station notification’ which means it has formally served notice on the Council, as owners of Bretonside, to vacate the land by Summer 2016, ahead of start of building.
Final discussions are currently underway with the South West Highways, the preferred bidder for the coach station, who will start work on site shortly.
Councillor Lowry added: “An enormous amount of work has gone into getting this development to this stage and it is beginning to get a real sense of momentum. Work on the new coach station at Mayflower Street is just around the corner – with the main construction to start in January and a few months later, the public will be able to see work start on the British Land development – these are big changes and a huge deal for the city.
The coach station on Mayflower Street will have seven coach stands that will serve National Express and Megabus. Features include real time passenger information systems, blue badge holder drop-off bay, customer help points, ticket machines, toilets, cycle stands, CCTV and ornamental lighting.
Some of the facts and figures:
• The scheme is going to cover 100,000 sq ft
• The 12 screen cinema complex will cover 42,000 sq ft
• The IMAX screen is 18 metres tall – this auditorium will have 450 seats and will include the latest cinema technologies. This could include a 4DX auditoria – where film viewing is enhanced with environmental effects such as seat motion, wind, rain, fog, lights and scents.
• There is room for 14 restaurants – and one on the roof
• It’s going to be big – its 105 feet from the plaza in Bretonside to the sky bar – that’s 3 ½ double decker buses stood on end.
The fly through is available on YouTube.