Breaking news: Council buildings could be demolished as part of leisure quarter expansion plan for Grantham

The site of the proposed leisure development, off St Catherine's Road
The site of the proposed leisure development, off St Catherine's Road
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A proposal has been announced this morning (Thursday) to expand the existing leisure quarter plan – including a multiplex cinema – for Grantham.

Meanwhile, Reel, which runs the existing cinema and was previously confirmed as the provider of the new multiplex, may not be chosen to take on the new contract.

Artist's impression released in 2014, of a Reel-operated cinema complex.

Artist's impression released in 2014, of a Reel-operated cinema complex.

South Kesteven District Council is being asked to consider a redevelopment scheme for a larger leisure development in Grantham town centre.

A meeting of the authority’s executive on May 9 will be asked to approve an expansion of the original £5 million proposal to build a multiplex cinema on council-owned land at St Catherine’s Road.

Site preparation work could begin as soon as July to clear the site and undertake essential surveys and site investigations. A second phase could now follow on from the cinema development, aimed at providing strong connectivity between the new cinema and the town centre by using land currently occupied by council buildings to provide an attractive pedestrian gateway to and from St Peter’s Hill, with a mixture of new food outlets and office space all set in an attractive public environment.

Council strategic director Tracey Blackwell said: “The council is determined to enhance the day and night time economy of Grantham and to establish the town as a leisure destination. We believe these proposed developments will stimulate further investment and interest from restaurants including nationally known brands.”

Further work is required to design and secure planning permission for the redevelopment of part of the council’s existing office space at St Peter’s Hill in order to appropriately compliment the phase 1 cinema-led scheme.

The proposal is for the cinema to be 15,000 square feet with 6,500 square feet of ground floor restaurant space and 8,000 square feet of first floor space that could be used for a variety of compatible leisure or office uses.

“We believe that both phases of this development will enhance Grantham’s reputation as a destination and add to the economic vitality of businesses within the town centre,” Mrs Blackwell added.

The executive will also be asked to agree to the appointment of a specialist leisure agency to secure a cinema operator and restaurant occupiers of the multiplex.

A spokesman for Reel Cinemas said: “We understand that the council have certain procedures to undertake before the project can go to the next stage, and trust that these can be completed as soon as possible.”

The council is working with the Grantham Senior Citizens’ Club to bring forward the development site. Planning permission for a new club has now been granted for a site next to the Welham Street car park releasing land earmarked for the initial stages of the development.