Appearance of huge crane is epic scene in construction of cinema on roof of Queensgate shopping centre

A huge crane has been put up outside Peterborough’s Queensgate as work continues to build a cinema on the shopping centre roof.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 4:45 pm
Giant crane ready for work outside Queensgate shopping centre. EMN-200105-122706009

The imposing structure, which now dominates the skyline around the 38-year-old shopping centre, will swing into action next week and marks the latest phase in the development of the long awaited 10-screen cinema.

The crane itself, which will be used to hoist parts and materials to workmen building the cinema, took nearly two days to build.

Construction work on the cinema began in March when part of the Queensgate bus station was closed to provide space for the builders, materials and the crane.

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Giant crane ready for work outside Queensgate shopping centre. EMN-200105-122633009

It is expected to take about a further 16 months to complete the Empire-operated cinema which is the focal point of a £60 million extension to the 100 unit shopping centre.

Once completed the centre will feature both the iMax cinema plus a chain of restaurants and retail stores that will be created on the levels beneath the cinema.

A total of 77,000 square feet will have been added to the existing building and will create more than 200 jobs.

The new attractions should open in late 2021.

Construction starst on the new crane. EMN-200429-135159009

A centre spokesman said at the time: “Most of the work will be taking place behind the scenes – but shoppers can expect to see cranes and scaffolding around the centre, as well as some visible works in the West Mall.”

The project is being led by international construction contractors McLaren Construction.

Planning approval for the development was granted by Peterborough City Council five years ago.

But the development ran into problems with a legal challenge by Hawksworth Securities angry that permission had also been granted for its cinema led development on the neighbouring North Westgate site.

This images shows how the new cinema should appear inside Queensgate.
The new look Queensgate.
How the cinema will appear on the Queensgate roof.