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Independent cinema planned for Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Centre

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

A new independent cinema is coming to Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Centre, under new plans.

The Wulfrun Centre in Wolverhampton. Photo: Google

Proposals have been unveiled for a multi-screen cinema and restaurant in the former Argos store.

The owners of the Wulfrun, which links to the Mander Centre, are keen to provide the complex with a boost in a bid to attract more visitors amid sliding footfall.

LCP said they had held discussions with several independent cinema operators and plans have now been lodged with the city council.

The 350-seat cinema would offer a "high-quality viewing experience", LCP said, and would be joined by a restaurant facing onto Cleveland Street, creating dozens of new jobs. The cinema would also made available for functions and events.

The old Argos store has been empty since the retailer became part of the Sainsbury's superstore on the ring road.

The former Argos store

The potential launch of the independent cinema comes as plans are progressing on bringing a national cinema chain to the city as part of the £55 million Westside development.

The Wulfrun cinema could also provide competition for the long-standing independent venue and charity the Light House on Fryer Street, which has faced a battle to survive over recent years since losing a council subsidy.

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Documents submitted with the plans said: "LCP is in advanced talks with a number of independent cinema chains to occupy and operate from the new premises.

"Their venues offer high-quality cinema viewing experiences which exploits the opportunities and flexibility that digital cinema can bring, with a wide range of on-screen content available, including broadcasts of live arts and sports programmes.

"It is also intended that the proposed development will provide a venue for community events, business meetings, live performances and presentations."

LCP said the cinema plan was part of a drive to attract more people to the Wulfrun.

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The report said: "LCP has also been considering its proposals to enhance the Wulfrun Centre through various proposals.

"However, there remains a pressing need to continue to seek to continue to improve the Wulfrun Centre in terms of its offer and the range of facilities available within the city centre.

"This proposal has been developed as a result of ongoing discussions with a number of cinema operators and the clearly identified need for additional cinemas in the city centre.

"In recent years, the number of visitors to the Wulfrun Centre has decreased whilst the number of vacant units has increased."

Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield welcomed the plans, which he said were exciting for the city centre.

"I welcome investment into the city. I've seen the plans and they look exciting," he said.

"The Wulfrun Centre has done something to one of its iconic former stores and it shows there is another way to go rather than just retail."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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