Film buffs will not have long to wait as work starts on a long-awaited and much-delayed £7m cinema complex in Huddersfield Town Centre.
The new complex will be located in the Kingsgate Centre at the site of the former House of Fraser store. It will offer six state of the art cinema screens, 10 bowling lanes, alongside a variety of other leisure activities and food offerings which will be revealed in the lead up to the opening. This will be delivered over two floors.
Redevelopment work will begin early this month and a target opening date has been set for September 2024. The project is a collaboration between Kirklees Council and developer WD Kingsgate. The cinema and leisure proposition will be operated by The Light, who already operate 12 other venues across the country.
For years, Huddersfield residents have had to traipse over to Leeds Road, Huddersfield or into Halifax town centre if they want to watch the latest flick.
The project is expected to complement the £250m Huddersfield Blueprint project and Cultural Heart being in a prime location in Kingsgate. The council say that these projects will transform the leisure offering in the town centre and improve the experience for residents and visitors alike.
Work on the scheme was originally expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by the end of the year. However, this didn’t go to plan due to unprecedented circumstances, with Peter Everest, Managing Director of WD Kingsgate blaming Covid and the Ukrainian crisis for the delay.
Now that the delivery of the project is in sight, Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We are committed to helping businesses thrive in Kirklees and I am delighted that the council has worked very closely with WD Kingsgate to help them to deliver this scheme. Kingsgate is a key destination within the town centre, and the redevelopment will complement the existing shops and become an important family-friendly leisure destination.
“The developer’s vision for the project is in line with our own Blueprint ambitions for the town centre and will help create the perfect mix of retail, culture and leisure.”
Mr Everest of WD Kingsgate, added: “I am grateful for the council’s support in delivering this scheme. We are excited about bringing a high-quality cinema into Huddersfield town centre alongside a variety of other food and leisure outlets. Our redeveloped centre will create a new destination within the town centre that gives the opportunity to shop, eat and see the latest films all within a stone’s throw of the other planned town centre developments.”
Keith Pullinger, Founder of The Light, said: “We are thrilled to be opening in Huddersfield and offering the residents a great place to engage in fun activities and experience exceptional cinema. Our spaces are known and loved for offering somewhere to bring friends and family together, providing entertainment whatever the occasion.”