Two major signings have brought the new Freshney Place leisure development closer with Parkway Cinemas signing a lease to develop a five-screen cinema and Morgan Sindall Construction being elected for the next stage of the build.
Richard Parkes, director of Parkway Cinemas, said that whilst internet shopping had seen a change in buying habits and how town centre is used, it was still evident that people wanted to get together socially, and cinemas were benefitting from that.
“The new Grimsby cinema will be very different to the one we have in Cleethorpes. There is more than one type and style of restaurant, more than just one type of pub – cinemas are the same. A town centre cinema will have a different feel and style to a big seafront cinema, even if they’re offering the same sorts of films. It’ll be a different experience.
“We’re really pleased to be able to get this over the line, and look forward to working on creating something special for the people of Grimsby.”
Morgan Sindall Construction was selected from a national framework of suppliers to deliver the next phase of the leisure scheme. The construction team will work with the Council to finalise the build plans over the coming months.
In the summer, once the plans have been approved, the company will continue to work on the scheme, starting with the demolition of the existing frontage of the former BHS unit, and Flottergate Mall at Freshney Place, creating a new market hall for Top Town Market and then constructing the leisure scheme.
Ben Hall, Morgan Sindall Construction’s area director, said: “We believe this project will be a real game-changer for Grimsby and will breathe new life into the shopping centre. Throughout the build programme, we will deploy our Intelligent Solutions approach, which sees us utilise cutting edge technology to create unique, sustainable and inspiring places for our customers.
“We are also looking forward to bringing employment opportunities to local people, and in working with local schools and colleges to introduce young people to the construction industry.”
Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of the Council, said: “This is a time of real rejuvenation for the town centre, with the schemes from the Town Centre Masterplan being delivered – not just Freshney Place and the associated market and leisure development, but the other schemes like Riverhead, alongside the creative and heritage elements.
“We’ve seen from Freshney Place that the footfall is increasing, with shoppers coming to purchase rather than browse, and most of the units in the centre are now occupied.
“The work that we are doing will hopefully encourage people to use the town centre more, to make it a thriving heart of our borough and reverse the long-term decline of years gone by.”
Image shows Ben Hall and Philip Jackson