The framework of the new cinema is taking shape on top of the Queensgate centre. EMN-210923-150357009

Queensgate’s £60 million cinema development on course for timely completion

Multi-million pound plans to build a cinema on the roof of the Queensgate shopping centre are on course for a timely completion.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:00 am

It is understood that work on the £60 million leisure-led development, which includes a string of shops and restaurants, is proceeding as planned.

This is despite bosses of the 39-year-old mall being left reeling by the combined closures earlier this year of department store giant John Lewis and fashion chain Next.

Construction work on the extension has continued despite the air of uncertainty created by the retailers’ decision to close and is still on course for completion next year.

Over the last few months, a crane has been in operation to lift the metal framework of the cinema into place on the roof of the shopping centre.

Inside the centre new walls are being built and new flooring prepared.

Cinema operator Empire is expected to take control of the Queensgate cinema ahead of Christmas after which the venue will be fitted out prior to opening to the public.

A source said: “It is still very much full steam ahead.”

Once completed the cinema will boast 10 screens and will be supported by new offering of restaurants and retail stores that are expected to create about 200 jobs.

However, the number of new jobs will fall short of the 318 people employed by John Lewis, which had given up 70,000 square feet of its unused space to make way for the development.

The department chain has been a part of the centre since its opening in 1982. It announced the store’s closure last March and revealed that the store had been financially challenged before the pandemic.

The retailer sealed the end of its links with the Queensgate earlier this month with the surrender of its premises licence, which allowed it to sell alcohol in its eateries, to Peterborough City Council earlier this month.

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