Cinema going in Peterborough is set to be transformed with a new 10 screen Empire cinema as the hub in a £60m extension to the Queensgate shopping centre.
It marks the return of cinema to the city centre and will be the first Empire Cinema in the region complete with IMAX® and Empire’s own large format IMPACT® screens.
Empire Cinemas currently operates 129 Screens across 14 cinemas in the UK with a range of offers catering for all age groups and families with babies. The new cinema will boast the biggest screens, ultimate sound, a choice of luxury seating, including ‘comfort boosting’ double sofas or individual electric recliners.
Lendlease and Invesco Real Estate have also announced that the 77,000 sq ft extension of Queensgate will include new leisure space and there is already strong demand from a number of leading restaurant and leisure operators to take space. The extension will also create 200 jobs once complete, adding ten per cent to the total number of people employed by Queensgate.
In addition to signing Empire, River Island is upsizing into a new 11,600 sq ft store at Queensgate. River Island joins Joules in utilising part of the former BHS.
Commenting on the news, Guy Thomas, Head of Retail at Lendlease, said: “This is an exciting milestone for Queensgate. The extension will cement the centre’s appeal as a retail and leisure destination on a regional basis by adding a significant leisure component and creating new stores that meet modern retailer requirements. Empire Cinemas is the perfect partner and will bring to Peterborough city centre a first-class cinema experience.”
Justin Ribbons, Chief Executive of Empire Cinemas, added: “We are very delighted to be bringing our memorable cinema experience to Peterborough. This will be our first cinema in the region, so will serve as a flagship for the community, providing visitors with the best quality, screens, seating and sound.”
Simon Machen, Peterborough City Council’s Corporate Director, Growth and Regeneration, also commented: “This is excellent news and demonstrates the continued strength of Peterborough city centre as a major retail and leisure destination in the region.
“The Queensgate Centre already has a strong reputation, enhanced by recent investment and an improved retail offer. Now Peterborough will finally see a cinema in the heart of the city centre and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it completed.”
In the last 12 months, Queensgate has welcomed a string of new store signings and upsizes including Joules, Smiggle, Pandora, New Look, Ann Summers, Yankee Candle and Sharps Bedrooms. At the end of last year, Queensgate also unveiled a stunning new £8 million interior mall refurbishment, creating a brighter more contemporary shopping environment for visitors.