One of the North’s leading independent cinema operators has announced plans to develop a state-of-the-art multi-plex cinema and community theatre as part of the Flemingate regeneration project in Beverley.
Parkway Cinemas completed its legal agreement with the consortium behind the £120m project late last week and hopes to have the facility open at the same time as the rest of the commercial element of the Flemingate regeneration project by late 2014. It will create 30 full and part-time jobs for the town. The company, which has its headquarters at The Parkway Cinema in Cleethorpes, says the Beverley project will not just be about the five-screen cinema complex but will also feature, within screen one, a theatrical facility that has been specially designed for use by touring and local theatrical groups, comedy nights and pantomimes.
Parkway Cinemas managing director is Gerald Parkes, who is a Board member of the Cinema Exhibitors Association and of the Digital Film Partnership. He said:
Our development will take entertainment in Beverley to an entirely new level, providing the very latest films in the most modern cinema environment while creating an exciting theatre where we intend to stage plays, comedy shows and live music events throughout the year.
This type of entertainment facility is not often found in the UK and certainly not in towns the size of Beverley, but being part of the Flemingate regeneration project suits our business ethos and was simply too good an opportunity to miss.
Mr Parkes confesses to having ‘a soft spot’ for Beverley, having served time as a junior assistant manager with the old ABC organisation and doing a spot of management relief duty at the famous Regal in the 1960s.
Beverley is crying out for this type of entertainment. The five-screen cinema will show the very latest films, as they become available, but at the same time we will be able to accommodate small-scale theatre productions which you would normally only find in some of the bigger cities. Our plan will be to show a wide range of films that will cater for the discerning film-goer as well as families and I am confident that our project will be a major magnet for the rest of the Flemingate development, appealing to local residents and visitors from the wider region. I particularly like the location and the way the new development dovetails so well with the rest of the town and we hope our facility will appeal to local theatre groups and bands.
I have been asked why we chose to come to Beverley. Well, it’s quite simple really. Beverley is within our home region and the design of the Flemingate scheme fits in with my belief that the next generation of cinema, like so many leisure facilities, will be based in the smaller towns, making it easier for local people to access cinema.
The cinema complex will be developed by the consortium consisting of the Hull-based Wykeland Group, the C P Group, of Hessle, and Quintain Estates and Development PLC, and will have five auditoriums, the smallest having 108 seats, two with 170 and others with 183 and 260.
The Flemingate scheme will also have a number of restaurants, an 80-bed Premier Inn, 20,000 sq. ft. of office accommodation, a multi-storey car park and a major retail element that has already attracted High Street store chain, Debenhams, as the anchor retailer. It will also feature a Community Centre that will be built by the consortium and gifted to the town for use by local residents and groups. The project will create an estimated 700 new permanent jobs and 320 during the construction phase and is forecast to generate an additional £32m a year for the local economy.