The long-awaited multi-million pound cinema complex has moved one step closer to being built with the permanent closure of a town centre car park early next month.
St Catherines’s Road car park, which is used by the public on evenings and weekends, will close for good on Friday, November 3, to allow for site preparation for Grantham’s new five-screen cinema.
Contractors will be able to access the site from early next month and detailed plans are being drawn up regarding design and costings.
Cabinet member with responsibility for major development projects Councillor Jacky Smith said: “The car park will close permanently with a new leisure tariff being introduced at the neighbouring Welham Street car park, once the cinema is built in late 2018 or early 2019. This is subject to the outcome of a consultation exercise and being passed at full council.”
Coun Smith added: “Starting at just £1 for three hours’ parking, it shows we are choosing to generate slightly less income in favour of increasing the overall number of visitors to Grantham.
“The new proposed charges will encourage anyone wishing to take in a film, have a bite to eat at one of the new or existing restaurants in the town centre or pay a visit to a show at the Guildhall Arts Centre, with a great value parking rate.
“There is also plenty of other parking within walking distance of the new development that is free after 6pm each evening.”
Welham Street car park will still remain free after 6pm.
Plans for the new cinema include five screens, two restaurants with a third one in the pipeline and office space – all within a short walk of St Peter’s Hill.
On announcing the plans back in 2014, a likely completion date of autumn 2015 was given, a date which has been pushed back several times since.
Leader of South Kesteven District Council Coun Matthew Lee voiced his concerns over the impression such delays create to councillors at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. He said: “We need to stop talking and start doing.
“We must always get on with clear deadlines and get it done for the community.”