Plans for 12-screen cinema at Rushden Lakes development revealed

An aerial image of the Rushden Lakes retail and leisure complex
An aerial image of the Rushden Lakes retail and leisure complex

Plans for a 12-screen cinema and bowling alley to be included in the multi-million pound Rushden Lakes retail and leisure complex have been revealed.

LxB Retail Properties, the developers behind the Rushden Lakes scheme, are holding a public consultation to get people’s views on the plans for a new cinema and additional restaurants on the former Skew Bridge site.

How the new visitors centre at Rushden Lakes will look

How the new visitors centre at Rushden Lakes will look

Rushden Lakes was given planning permission by the Government last year after a public inquiry saw more than 1,000 local people write in support of the plans.

But proposals have now been unveiled which could see a 12-screen cinema, bowling alley and indoor climbing area replace the garden centre which was originally planned on the west of the site.

If approved, the new building will include a glass atrium and a bar with a roof terrace overlooking the lake.

People are invited to a public exhibition at Rushden Hall next week to find out more about the plans and have their say.

When we first started talking to local people about Rushden Lakes, a cinema was the one thing that came up time and again

Jon McCarthy

A planning application is expected to be submitted to East Northamptonshire Council in the coming months and is likely to be heard by the planning committee early 2016.

Jon McCarthy of LxB Retail Properties said: “When we first started talking to local people about Rushden Lakes, a cinema was the one thing that came up time and again.

“We’re really pleased that we have been able to respond to what residents told us and help make Rushden Lakes a truly unique destination.

“We have always been grateful for the unwavering support that people have given us and want as many people as possible to come and see the new plans and tell us what they think.”

A host of big names have already signed up to Rushden Lakes, including Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and Primark.

Work on the site is already well under way, with the site being prepared ready for construction to start early spring.

If the cinema plans are approved, it is hoped that building for that phase of the development could begin in summer 2017.

Rushden Lakes is a £140m leisure and tourism destination which will create 1,900 permanent jobs and open up the surrounding countryside for people to enjoy free of charge.

A total of 30 acres of the 244 acre site on the edge of the A45 will be built on.

The development will include 380,000 sq ft of shops, a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A45 linking Rushden Lakes to the town, waterfront restaurants, a lakeside visitor centre as well as footpaths and cycle routes.

The Crown Estate agreed a deal to buy the site from LXB Retail Properties earlier this year, although LxB remains involved in the scheme and will be delivering the retail and leisure proposals.

Members of the public are invited to see the cinema plans when they go on show at Rushden Hall in Hall Park from 2pm to 7pm on Thursday, October 8, 9am to 5pm on Friday, October 9, and from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, October 10.