Arc Cinema commits to 25 years at Animate leisure complex

The Arc Cinema has signed a 25-year lease, becoming the second anchor tenant for Preston's £40m Animate leisure complex.

Late last year, Hollywood Bowl became the first tenant. Now Arc will bring eight screens across 29,500 sq ft. Animate will also include a food hall, new restaurants and bars and public realm.

Together, Animate is projected to stimulate economic growth and development in Preston and is expected to generate over £7m of extra economic activity annually while creating 140 full-time equivalent jobs.

The development is one of six major projects planned under Preston’s Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme, for which the city was awarded £20.9m from the government’s national Towns Fund initiative in March 2021.

Andrew Dewhurst, development director at Maple Grove Developments, commented: “It couldn’t be better news to have a cinema operator join the tenant line up at Animate.

"With planning now secured, working with Preston City Council, we now have the confidence to press on with the detailed design in readiness for a construction start. In addition to The Arc Cinema, four of the restaurant units are now under offer and we expect to be able to announce more names throughout the Spring. Our aim is to start on site in October this year with practical completion due in Summer 2024."

Brian Gilligan, director at The Arc Cinema, continued: “We are extremely proud and excited to be an anchor at Preston’s Animate scheme. Animate will be an amazing leisure destination when we and our neighbours in the scheme open in 2024 and its location in the heart of Preston’s vibrant city centre fits perfectly with The Arc Cinema’s ambitious expansion plans."