Planning application submitted for Preston's Animate leisure complex

Preston City Council has submitted a planning application for a city-owned cinema and leisure complex.

Funding was approved for the £40m Animate development in August, and plans have since progressed to improve the previously consented proposals and respond to the current leisure market trends.

The current planning application includes an eight-screen cinema, 16-lane bowling alley, a social unit suitable for a range of uses, five family restaurants, a street food hub, public realm improvements, a 164-space car park and a Changing Places’ facility and associated servicing arrangements.

It is hoped the complex will create 140 full-time equivalent jobs and bring in more than £7m of extra economic activity each year.

This planning application has now been submitted to Preston City Council’s Planning Department. A period of consultation will be open to allow the public the opportunity to express their views on the proposed development. The application will be considered and decided by the Planning Committee, which is made up of elected councillors.

Councillor Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, said: "This planning application is the vital next step in the Animate scheme, which aims to bring key investment and jobs to benefit the people of Preston, as well as stimulating investment in the surrounding area. It is a central part of our ambitions for a more democratic local economy with the asset retained in city ownership once developed.

"The scheme aims to enhance the leisure offer within the city centre, build resiliency as we recover from Covid and make Preston a key destination to live, work and visit. Now the application has been submitted, it will be considered by the planning committee who will make their decision over the coming weeks.”

Subject to achieving planning permission work is programmed to begin on-site in Summer 2022.

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