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How the new cinema in Kirkby could look

Preferred Contractor appointed for Kirkby Cinema

by Jonathan Kearney

The next phase of Knowsley Council’s development plans for Kirkby Town Centre have taken another step forward with the appointment of the Morgan Sindall Group as the preferred contractor for the cinema scheme.

The appointment follows a competitive tender exercise.  Morgan Sindall have been successful in the first stage.  They will now be given a pre-construction exclusivity period as the Council’s preferred bidder to undertake further work with a view to being awarded a contract for the build of the cinema.

The multi-screen cinema scheme, complete with three food and drink outlets, will be located on the former Kirkby Library site on Cherryfield Drive.

Already, a site has been confirmed, planning permission has been approved, and an operator, Reel Cinema, has been secured.

The scheme remains on-track and construction is due to commence in the coming months.

Knowsley Council carried out a consultation in March 2020 asking residents, visitors, and businesses in the town “What makes a good town centre?”

As well as a supermarket and a better choice of shops, respondents also asked for a leisure offer (such as a cinema or a bowling alley) as well as places where young people could go.  The Council has been actively promoting Kirkby as a destination for such a leisure offer and, as a result, it has secured a site, an operator, and now a construction partner.

This latest phase of development follows the successful completion of the retail development in just under two years since the Council took ownership of the town centre.  The 94,000 feet2 retail development is home to a Morrisons superstore, petrol station, drive-through Taco Bell and KFC restaurants, and a larger Home Bargains.  A tenant for the remaining unit at the site, a gym operator, has also been secured, and they are due to open their doors shortly.

Councillor Tony Brennan, Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member, said: “Our plans for Kirkby Town Centre always extended beyond the retail development and I’m delighted that the next phase of our development plans have taken a significant step forward with the appointment of a construction partner for our cinema scheme.

“We have listened to what our residents want for their town and, as you can see with the supermarket and the retail development, we are delivering exactly what they have asked for.  Our priority now is to deliver the cinema scheme, and the three food and drink outlets, which will not only provide the facilities our residents asked for, but will also create local jobs for local people.

“We are delighted to work with Morgan Sindall on this scheme and look forward to seeing progress over the coming months.”