Cinema action plan drawn up

AMBITIOUS plans for a multi-million pound cinema complex for St Neots have moved a step forward after an action plan was drawn up. St Neots Town Council has devised three action points in a bid to help turn the town s cinema dream into a reality. At the

AMBITIOUS plans for a multi-million pound cinema complex for St Neots have moved a step forward after an action plan was drawn up.

St Neots Town Council has devised three action points in a bid to help turn the town's cinema dream into a reality.

At the meeting of the council last Wednesday (November 5) councillors decided a way forward for the cinema.

They agreed to apply for outline planning permission for the recycling centre site on Huntingdon Street, to enter discussions with Huntingdonshire District Council over a land swop and to investigate the costs of holding a parish poll.

Council staff were given permission to use up to £2,000 of the town council's budget to explore the three options.

Cllr Derek Giles said: "This is a very positive step forward, but it is just a first step and we must not hold our breath."

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He added: "We need the district council on board, as they own the land needed to make this project happen. We need to persuade the district council that a cinema for this site would revitalise the town. It will cost money, but we are being pro-active because we have so much evidence that people want a cinema in the town."

It is more than 18 months since Lord of the Manor, Peter Rowley, promised £1million to the town to provide a cinema. Reel Cinemas is said to be interested in developing the Huntingdon Street site in a multi-million pound deal that would incorporate three restaurants and a theatre.

A business group led by Cllr Barry Chapman has been set up by the town council to help bring a cinema to the town.

Cllr Chapman said: "It will take at least a couple of weeks or more for the plans to be ready to submit. It is very complicated and there is a lot of work involved. This is not going to happen tomorrow. It's going to take time.