The look: Designs for new St Neots cinema

THE long awaited multi-million pound cinema complex planned for St Neots inched even closer to reality last week after plans of the development were unveiled.

Chelmsford-based Turnstone Estates, which is charged with turning the former fire station and waste recycling site in Huntingdon Street into an entertainment complex, presented its initial proposals to members of St Neots Town Council and Huntingdonshire District Council.

The presentation, delivered by Turnstone’s managing director, Chris Goldsmith, included detailed plans for a seven-screen cinema and restaurant complex, with options for al fresco dining and up to 160 car parking spaces.

Conservative Councillor Barry Chapman, who sits on both councils and has been campaigning for a cinema for years, told The Hunts Post that the plans presented enormous potential for the town.

“The main drivers behind this project were that it is green – people will be able to walk to it easily and it reduces the amount of road miles being used,” he said. “We want to encourage people to walk or get the bus into town, and perhaps see a film while they’re out shopping.

“It also opens up what was previously a refuse tip with not only a seven-screen cinema, but there’s going to be a theatre there as well. This will create even more possibilities with the live screening of sporting and cultural events.

“Finally, youngsters will be able to get to it easily and won’t have to get their parents to drive them into Cambridge or Huntingdon.”

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Cllr Chapman said negotiations were under way with Cineworld and top restaurant names, such as TGI Friday’s and Frankie and Benny’s, have expressed an interest.

Turnstone Estates wants to hold a public consultation about the proposals, so the people of St Neots can have their input into the biggest singular investment the town has seen, Cllr Chapman said.

The two-week consultation will take place in February when the plans will be available at the Priory Centre for the public to visit.

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