Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet recommends approval of £5.349 million investment in multi-screen cinema

The proposed site for the cinema scheme.
A partnership between Lichfield District Council and Evolve Estates would see the repurposing of the former Debenhams store into a cinema.

Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet last night recommended to Full Council an investment of £5.349 million in a multi-screen cinema for the district.

The scheme would see the former Debenhams store in Three Spires Shopping Centre adapted into a four-screen cinema attraction together with five food and beverage units.

Cabinet has recommended that the Council agrees the allocation of £5,349,000 from the capital programme and a partnership with Evolve Estates, the owners of Three Spires Shopping Centre.

Evolve Estates, which has a £300million property portfolio and is part of the M Core group, would invest in the cinema on a 50/50 basis with Lichfield District Council.  

An operator is in late stage discussions with Evolve Estates and Lichfield District Council and would fit out the cinema element of the building to create a multi-screen facility featuring a mixture of small (up to 48 seats) and large (up to 120 seats) screens.

If approved by the Full Council on Thursday 20 October, work will commence on the building before the end of the year subject to any necessary planning permissions.

An online video timelapse function would also be created for residents and visitors to be able to monitor the scheme visually as it progresses.

The Leader of Lichfield District Council, Doug Pullen, said:

“I am delighted that Cabinet has recommended investment in the cinema scheme to Full Council which will provide the district with an important, and much called for, leisure facility.

“The willingness of Evolve Estates to work with us on the scheme, as well as funding from an established cinema operator, gives me every confidence that this long-awaited scheme will now move forward, and demonstrates our new approach to unlocking the potential on this site is working.”

“The scheme has cross-party support and approval by the Council next week would be the final piece of the jigsaw before we can go ahead with the project and make it a reality.”

Phil Murphy, head of asset management for Evolve Estates, said:

"We are extremely pleased that plans for the cinema at Three Spires Shopping Centre have reached the next stage for funding approval and await the decision from Full Council later this month.”

Sebastian MacDonald-Hall, chief investment officer for M Core, added:

"It has been decades since Lichfield has had a dedicated cinema and we believe the shopping centre is an ideal location, and will add a much-needed leisure facility in the heart of this thriving, historic shopping destination."

Published: 11 October 2022