Moves to revive stalled town centre cinema project

North Kesteven District Councillors have heard about moves to restart the £4.2m project to develop a cinema in Sleaford which stalled due to the pandemic.

Artist's impression fo how the new cinema project would look in Sleaford.
Artist's impression fo how the new cinema project would look in Sleaford.

The council pledged to invest in a three screen cinema on land between the Market Place and Money’s Yard, with pedestrian links between the two areas. But Covid-19 had seen their preferred cinema operator withdraw and much of the regeneration work on land once occupiwed by the old Corn Exchange and Buttermarket has been on hold.

Executive board members heard a report from officers on future capital projects on Thursday which said that discussions had been due to start in September with an alternative operator. They added there was no certainty of the outcome at this stage, continuing: “There is also the possibility that a slightly different approach might be adopted to delivery of the scheme. If that were to happen, there might be a commitment or actual spend of circa £250,000 later this year, possibly before December 2021, but at this stage nothing is certain.”

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The council was also due to buy a related shop unit and parcel of land but this will not go ahead this financial year.

Artist's impression fo how the new cinema project would look in Sleaford.

A North Kesteven District Council spokesperson told The Standard: “It’s been positive to see an uplift in the cinema industry following some major film releases in recent months, however the long-term picture for the sector continues to be affected by Covid and this is impacting on progress for the Heart of Sleaford.

“We’re continuing to work on our plans for this large and complex scheme while focusing on providing support for businesses and the local economy in our district through the pandemic as a priority.”