Cut! Second new cinema for Walsall is scrapped
A new cinema has been ruled out of plans for a multi-million leisure complex in Walsall town centre, developers confirmed today.
Developer Cordwell Property Group says there is no room for two cinemas in the town and it is currently finalising details for a new project.
The revised scheme will consist of three 'separate and distinctive' elements and will breathe new life into the town, say the firm which is behind the plan for the Littleton Street West site.
Following the original planning application, a bid for £12 million development, including eight-screen Light cinema complex, at Walsall Waterfront was approved. Building work on that is now nearing completion while it emerged last month that construction on Cordwell's Vue cinema had been halted.
Council bosses described the Waterfront as 'probably the better location'.
Cordwell company spokesman Malcolm Wilcox said: "There isn't room for two cinemas in Walsall town centre, there never was. We've moved on and we're looking forward to announcing our new plans for the site in the next few weeks.
"We have to commend the Light for getting on with the project. They'll do a good job, as Vue would have done, but we have exciting brand new plans for another mixed-use scheme on the site. We want to make sure everything's in place before we reveal what the plans are.
"The scheme will complement the surrounding Gigaport area which has seen this part of Walsall transformed over the last few years.
"This final piece of the jigsaw will continue the high quality design with the added benefit of driving footfall and attracting visitors from further a field."
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird said it was 'disappointing' the Vue cinema was not going ahead.
"These plans are subject to market demand and there's no call in Walsall for two cinemas. You can only operate a cinema successfully if you have the supporting businesses, such as coffee houses and restuarants, around you," he said.
"Cordwell were the first to put in an application and it's disappointing their scheme is not going ahead."
Work started at the site, near Tesco, at the end of last year but stalled several months ago. At the time the firm said the scheme had been delayed due to a change in design to one of the restaurant units where Asian buffet chain Mimosa plans to open a 370-seater restaurant.
Bosses said the changes had affected drainage designs and they were finalising a 'party wall agreement' with a premises in Stafford Street, near to the building work, to set out how the work should progress.
The new planning application is expected to be lodged next month.
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