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West Bridgford
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

£1.6m bonus for council from sale of land for cinema complex

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Broxtowe Borough Council received significantly more than they expected for selling a plot of land.

A multi-million pound development known as Beeston Square Phase Two will see a new cinema, bars and restaurants built next to new housing.

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Part of the funding for the cinema and restaurants was always planned to come from the sale of part of the land for housing.

The cost of the cinema project has increased over budget by around £1 million, due to upgrades to the cinema and the public space outside the cinema.

But this has been more than offset by the fact the buyer of the housing plot paid £1.6 million more than the council had expected.

The exact price the council received has not been released, with the council citing commercial sensitivity, however it was revealed at a public meeting of the Policy and Performance Committee yesterday evening (Wednesday, July 3).

The cinema operator has been named as Arc, and the council is close to agreeing a deal with a ‘well-known’ chain to take up one of the units, the meeting heard.

Zulfiqar Darr is the deputy chief executive of the council, and said: “I’m pleased to say things are moving in the right direction.

“We are very close to signing off the lease with the Arc Cinema. That is fantastic news, given that is the anchor tenant.

“There’s also lots of activity and work with restaurant and cafe bar operators, and that’s working really well, and we’re looking to sign off a lease with a well-known name.”

Explaining why the cost of the project had increased, he said: “First of all a number of things have changed, we’ve got a new cinema operator so we’ve got more screens and seating, we’ve looked at relocating the substation on site, and improvements to public realm.

“Overall the capital budget has increased in the region of £1 million. That is more than offset by the fact the receipt on the land was over £1.6 million better than previously thought.”

He said five contractors had expressed an interest in building the new cinema and restaurant, and that a decision would be made on which construction firm to go with in the coming months.

In a rare outbreak of political consensus at the closely-balanced council, councillors from all parties came together to congratulate each other on the way the project had been handled.

The Labour leader of the council, councillor Radulovic, thanked the previous leader, Conservative Richard Jackson, for the work he had done on the project.

The project started when the Conservatives were in control of the council, but after May’s local election, Broxtowe Borough Council is now run by a rainbow coalition of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors.

The report was approved unanimously.

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