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Planning application submitted for cinema and leisure scheme

1 December 2021

Animate cinema and leisure complex illustration

A planning application for Animate cinema and leisure scheme has been submitted.

A planning application for Animate, the city owned cinema and leisure complex scheme, has now been submitted to Preston City Council's Planning Department. This will be followed by a public consultation period to comment on the proposed scheme. After this period, the application will be considered and decided by the Planning Committee, which is made up of elected councillors.

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

What does the planning application include?

The planning application includes the following:

  • 8 screen cinema
  • 16 lane bowling alley
  • competitive social unit (suitable for a range of uses)
  • 5 family restaurants
  • street food hub
  • public realm improvements
  • 164 space car park; a Changing Places' facility and associated servicing arrangements

To view proposed layouts and plans for the scheme see Animate Preston Cinema and Leisure Scheme Proposed Layout and Plans.

Scheme aims

The Animate scheme aims to bring growth and development to the city centre, create a quality leisure destination to bring families back into Preston and make the city the 'place to be'. As well as bringing in over £7million of extra economic activity every year 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. It is also a key project within the 15-year Preston City Investment Plan.

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."

Andrew Dewhurst, director of Maple Grove Developments, commented:

"This joint planning application, submitted by Preston City Council and Maple Grove Developments aims to create a leading leisure destination within the city centre.

We've worked closely with the City Council and Leach Rhodes Walker Architects in developing the design and scheme content, to ensure the Animate project will meet the goal of creating a thriving, sustainable city centre offer for everyone to enjoy."

Find out about other city centre key projects

For more information about other key projects taking place across the city centre key projects and plans.

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