Cinema chain Savoy has been named as the new operator for South Kesteven District Council’s multi-million pound leisure complex on St Catherine’s Road.
The Grantham Savoy will be the chain’s fifth cinema in its Midland’s-based network, with a sixth cinema due to open in Doncaster in coming months.
The new complex, with five screens and a variety of restaurants, is expected to provide a huge boost for the town and the regeneration of St Peter’s Hill, according to Cllr Jacky Smith, the District Council’s Cabinet Member for major projects.
Speaking at a joint signing event between SKDC and Savoy on this morning, Cllr Smith said: “I am delighted to confirm that Nottingham-based Savoy will be our cinema operator and act as an anchor tenant to attract others,” she said.
“Our new complex is set to be a fantastic asset for Grantham and the surrounding area and a real boost to Grantham town centre. We are pleased to be joining Savoy’s growing number of excellent cinemas in the region.”
The Deputy Leader, Councillor Kelham Cooke, added: “The new cinema is key to the redevelopment of St Peter’s Hill, which also includes investment in the Guildhall and creation of new, modern office space for small businesses and start-ups on the ground floor of the council offices.”
James Collington, Savoy Managing Director, who signed the deal with SKDC said: “Grantham has huge potential and we have been extremely keen to open a cinema here for some time,” he said. “We anticipate welcoming around 250,000 people through the doors every year, many of whom will visit the town centre.”
The cinema’s five screens will accommodate a total of 650 seats, with a variety of screen sizes. Savoy plans a variety of cinema offerings to suit all audiences, from major blockbuster films to live streaming of events, opera and drama from the National Theatre.
Savoy also operates cinemas in Corby, Nottingham, Boston and Worksop
The St Catherine’s Road site has been cleared and initial groundwork is underway. Work on the site is due to begin in the New Year and is due to open in early 2019.
Grantham has a long cinema history. A 1996 wall plaque in the Isaac Newton Centre commemorates 100 years since actor-playwright J A Campbell –described as the Founding Father of Cinema in Grantham – opened The Picture House in 1916.
It was the town’s first cinema and was patronised by a young Margaret Roberts (later Thatcher).
The town boasted four cinemas in the 1930’s.