The Challenge:

The site was acquired by Kier Property in 2013 following conversations with a cinema brand, who wanted to take an 8-screen multiplex in addition to the five ground floor food and beverage operators beneath the cinema. However, at a critical point in the scheme, the client made the decision to not proceed with the development.

We also needed to gain planning consent for the project and engage with the local community throughout the planning application.

The Solution:

Due to our depth of contacts in the leisure market and the quality of the scheme we had offers from three other cinema operators and proceeded with The Light Cinema as the anchor tenant for the 64,500 sq.ft. cinema and leisure element of the scheme.

The site was designed to make the best of the public realm and canalside location and a thorough planning application process saw the scheme gain planning consent in 2014. We engaged with the local community throughout the planning application and undertook a two-day consultation event in the New Art gallery that saw over 300 positive responses in support of the scheme. The planners were complimentary about the planning application and the way we approched the stakeholder engagement. We also engaged with Walsall College, Job Centre Plus and the Black Country LEP to keep them up-to-date on the project and the opportunities for jobs and new business.

The Impact:

The Light bring fresh thinking to cinema operation and will bring added value to the community generating approximately 230 jobs. All of the ground floor units were let before practical completion of the scheme occurred. The restaurant line up of TGI Fridays, Chiquitos, Hungry Horse, Pizza Express and Bella Italia were very supportive of the scheme and the way it has been delivered.

 

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