Express & Star

Cinema lined up to replace Debenhams store in Lichfield shopping centre

Lichfield District Council has signed an agreement with the new owners of the Three Spires Shopping Centre to develop options for a cinema within a former Debenhams store.

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How the cinema entrance could look

The Debenhams in Three Spires Shopping Centre closed last May after the national department store was bought by an online retailer. Since then, the Bakers Lane building has remained vacant.

District residents have said they would welcome a cinema in the city centre and the former Debenhams building would be a great location.

Evolve Estates was announced as the buyer of the shopping centre on Friday.

The property investment company specialises in positive regeneration through active asset management of real estate projects across the UK.

Evolve is already working with a variety of potential cinema operators to design an offering for Lichfield.

Opportunities to further complement the cinema use with food and beverage outlets are ongoing and possible designs show that visitors should expect previously hidden views of Lichfield to be uncovered soon.

Sebastian MacDonald-Hall, director of Evolve Estates said: “Lichfield city centre offers an excellent opportunity for the development of a cinema facility, and we are thrilled to be working with the District Council team to investigate ways of making this a reality.

"At Evolve Estates we have extensive experience of both creating city centre venues that people love and attracting operators to take up space and ensuring continued success of the facilities. We believe the former Debenhams site offers an excellent location that will complement the city centre and we are already engaging with significant interest from both cinema and food and beverage operators.”

Leader of Lichfield District Council, Councillor Doug Pullen, said: “We are excited about the prospect of working with Evolve to further the development of a cinema in the Three Spires Shopping Centre. It would be fantastic to have this facility in the centre of Lichfield to further enhance our leisure and entertainment offering.

"It would undoubtedly attract more people into the city centre in the daytime, evenings and weekends which is great for the future prosperity of retail and hospitality businesses.

"Both Lichfield Council and Evolve Estates are committed to making the cinema a reality and we want to do this quickly and expect to have the considerations completed in the next few months.”

The joint venture consideration phase of the contract is due to be completed by the end of the summer with a planning application submitted for the approved scheme thereafter.