New Preston Cinema Reaches High Point In Construction

In a significant development for Preston’s city center, the construction of the highly-anticipated cinema and leisure complex has achieved a major milestone known as ‘topping out.’ Situated along Ringway and towering over the iconic Market Hall, the £45 million project has now reached its highest point of construction.

Set to open its doors in early 2025, the Animate cinema complex will boast eight screens, a 16-lane bowling alley, gaming zone, five family restaurants, a food hall, and a new 164-space car park. While initially slated for a 2024 opening, slight delays have pushed back the completion date.

Already, big-name brands like Hollywood Bowl, ARC Cinemas, Zizzi, Cosmo, Las Iguanas, and Loungers have secured spaces within the complex’s restaurant units, promising a vibrant and diverse culinary scene.

Preston City Council leader, Councillor Matthew Brown, remarked, “Animate is the flagship project of the Harris Quarter regeneration program, signaling a new chapter for Preston and its residents. As a council-owned initiative, Animate aims to benefit the local community by providing valuable employment opportunities and skills development for our youth.”

Funded in part by the central government’s Towns Fund initiative, which allocated £20.9 million for Preston’s ‘Harris Quarter,’ the Animate cinema complex stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to economic growth and community development.

John Chesworth, Chair of Preston Towns Fund Strategic Board and chairman of Preston Partnership, emphasized the broader impact of Animate, stating, “Having secured high-profile national leisure brands, Animate will drive footfall and stimulate economic growth not only for Preston but also for the surrounding areas.”

Overseeing the construction is Maple Grove Developments, whose managing director Karen Hirst highlighted the collaborative effort behind the project. “Animate exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships in delivering transformative projects that benefit the entire community and economy of Preston,” she noted.

With its completion on the horizon, Animate promises to redefine leisure and entertainment in Preston, offering residents and visitors alike a dynamic hub for relaxation, dining, and recreation.