The town’s new multiplex cinema complex is now not expected to be completed until the end of next year, with negotiations still taking place between the different parties involved in the project.
On being approved by South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee in November, a likely completion date of autumn 2015 was given for the six-screen facility on St Catherine’s Road, complete with food court and office units.
However, an SKDC spokesman said: “We’re awaiting to finalise negotiations and agreements with parties for elements of the project, meaning an exact date is difficult to give at this time.
“We anticipate, though, the end of 2016 should see it completed by then.”
The £5 million development, to be leased to Reel Cinemas, will see 1,037 seats across the six screens, an increase of around 700 from the existing two-screen cinema.
Co-director of Reel Cinemas Naveen Suri said they had been made aware of the delays, but were still feeling positive about the project. Mr Suri told the Journal: “We are aware that there have been some delays with the paperwork and the legal side, which has pushed back the timeline. But we understand that building work will start on the site this year.
“It is a complicated build with offices and restaurants, so the delays are not unexpected. We are very committed to the scheme.”
He added: “We are looking forward to the expansion of the cinema. We think the town has the capability and customers who would like a greater selection of films that they can access without having to travel further afield.”
As part of the project, SKDC is to provide the affected Grantham Senior Citizens Club on St Catherine’s Road with a replacement building to the rear of the existing cinema.
The club’s advisor, Ted Foxall, said they have had regular meetings with SKDC concerning the plans, but are not happy about the delay.
“While this is all hanging over us and we haven’t got a definite date, it is hard to recruit new members,” said Mr Foxall. “We are meeting with the council this week, and do hope that we’ll get some more information.”
The club is receiving a £10,000 grant under the Community Assets and Services scheme to help create its new base.
Businesses are also still waiting to hear whether they have been successful in securing units at the cinema, after registering their interest.
Among those who have are Chris and Theresa Duggan of Eden House Hotel and Eden Wine Bar. Theresa said: “We’d like to open a café and have submitted our interest, but haven’t heard anything since.”
Chairman of Grantham Business Club, Stuart Pigram, said he had not been made aware of the new expected completion date for the cinema complex. “As with any new venture, any delays are extremely frustrating,” he said. “As far as I’m aware they are looking for national businesses to fill the units.”
SKDC added that they are unable to give an update on potential businesses opening in the complex at this stage.