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 henry.james@champnews.com
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 (3058771)
CONCOURSE CHIEFS SAY CINEMA PLAN IS A WINNER WITH PUBLIC
by Henry James


CONCOURSE bosses have said that people in Skelmersdale have overwhelmingly expressed their support for a planned £4m leisure scheme at the town’s shopping centre.

A two-day consultation at the centre saw more than 200 local shoppers and business people going aong to view the plans, which include the town's first multiplex digital cinema and new restaurants.

Jo Salmon, retail portfolio manager for Concourse owners, London and Cambridge Properties (LCP), which has submitted detailed plans to the borough council, said she was delighted that local people were so excited by the proposals.

More than 100 comment cards were filled in, all of which expressed support for the leisure complex plans.

Comments included: “I think it’s a fantastic idea – it looks good and will attract people.”

“Please let this happen; the people of Skelmersdale need this.”

“Waited for years for a new development. This can only be good for the centre.”

“We think this is long overdue as we have been treated as the poor relation in the area.”

“I fully support this and hope 100% that it goes ahead.”

Jo said that the consultation had demonstrated that people were on board for the development, which is only now possible thanks to advances in technology that allows the cinema to be contained within the existing, redundant second floor.

““We had a very busy two days during which we answered lots of questions about the planned scheme.

”Everyone expressed their support for it and all said that they hoped we would get planning permission when it goes to the council’s planning committee this month.

“It was important for us to demonstrate that we are committed to following this scheme through to completion. We have the funding in place, so if and when we are given the green light, we will be ready to start work in the new year.”

Many local retailers also believe the development will attract more customers, further investment, and create jobs.

Under the proposals, a 695-seat, seven-screen cinema and two food outlets would be situated on the second floor of the shopping centre.

A further four units on the first floor would be converted into restaurants as part of a first phase to improve the offer and appearance of the town's centre that will mean greater sustainability and improve the town's shopping provision.

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, people in Skelmersdale will see the leisure scheme open in September 2015.

Should the scheme be given the green light, the shopping centre, which houses more than 70 shops including well-known high street names, would also undergo improvements.

At least 40 new jobs would be created, while the 800-plus jobs that are already at the shopping centre would be safeguarded.






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