Build it – and they will come . . .

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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In my book, you snooze, you lose. If you have a great idea you get on with it and don’t wait for the world to catch you up or pass you by.

Mr Dyson had a plan to clean up with his revolutionary suction technique; he didn’t hang about for Mr Hoover, he just wiped the floor with him. Mr H didn’t complain, it’s just business.

The Colonel invented a secret mix of herbs and spices for his ‘finger lickin’ chicken; did he dilly or dally? No, he stuck it in a bucket and slapped his face on the side. Ronald McDonald just had to paint on a smile and make do with a happy meal.

Market forces will decide whether your product is good enough or not but you have to strike whilst the iron is hot and not let your competitors beat you to the punch.

The same rules should be observed in the increasingly fraught race to build Peterborough’s city centre cinema.

We all want North Westgate to be redeveloped and for as a long as I can remember it has been planned, promised and never delivered.

Hawsworth say that their £100 million proposals for the site are reliant on a cinema and if Queensgate are allowed to build one, their plans are scuppered. But they have yet to even buy the land they need to build and could be five, seven or even ten years away from turning those plans into reality.

Meanwhile the owners of Queensgate have funding in place and could have the popcorn popping at a nice, new Odeon cinema in time for Christmas 2017.

To me it is a no brainer.

Peterborough city centre needs a cinema and I don’t personally care who builds it, as long as it gets built and soon.

For too long we have had to cope with the ageing Showcase in Boongate, whilst just about every other city in the surrounding area has built nice, new, less smelly, multiplexes. We are the poor relations when it comes to the cinema stakes.

Showcase is over twenty-five years old and doesn’t even have a rake; if somebody tall sits in front of you then you have had it.

When it was built it was state of the art, but so were VHS videos and acid house music. It needs knocking down and starting again; God knows it must have paid for itself by now.

The increased footfall from the proposed city centre cinema, restaurants and bars would also provide a boon to other businesses in the city and bring much needed life back to the night time economy.

It would be tough luck on the developers of North Westgate, but then they should have been quicker to build. Why should another business be prevented from expanding, in a free market, just because you couldn’t get your own act together a bit faster?

Whilst Hawksworth drag this out in the courts the people of Peterborough are being denied a much needed new facility and all the benefits that it brings.

I for one look forward to sitting in a comfy seat, in the middle of the city, watching Avengers 5, in a couple of years from now.

I say build it and let the people decide with their 
feet!