Town centre owners Helical Bar plan to build an eight-screen cinema and four restaurants in Corby in a £10m scheme which will create jobs and transform the town centre.
The development area will cover Crown House, which will be demolished this month, the old bus station, the multi-storey car park and a section of Market Walk which now houses several empty shops and the Corinthian pub which has closed.
For months Corby has waited for work to start on a six-screen cinema in George Street, promised years ago.
Developers Mulberry have been unable to finalise a deal with Odeon due to the expected sale of the cinema chain.
Duncan Walker, a director with Helical Bar, who has responsibility for Corby town centre and the company’s investment portfolio, said: “We have the money, Vue has signed the deal and negotiations with the restaurant companies are advanced.
“Everything is ready to go ahead. It’s the right time and the key scheme to regenerate that end of the town centre.
“The people of Corby have said they want a cinema and it’s what they’ve been waiting for for years.
“This development will create jobs, drive the night-time economy and be good for town centre traders.”
A public exhibition on the scheme will be held in Queens Square on Thursday, October 17, for residents to look at the plans and give their views.
It is hoped the Crown House site will be cleared and prepared by Christmas and, if planning permission is approved, Mr Walker said he hoped the new Vue cinema would open for business early in 2015.
It will be built on the same level as Market Walk with two lifts and stairways leading up to the entrance from a new 500-space car park.
Helical Bar has been planning the project for the past six months and international architects Chapman Taylor has designed the complex.
Mr Walker said: “People can go online to buy whatever they want now. Increasingly town centres are having to transform into a destination where people can shop and be entertained to keep pace with changes in shopping habits.
“We see Corby town centre as a place to serve those who live here and a destination drawing people in from surrounding towns.”
Work on the promised six-screen Odeon cinema in Corby was to have started in April this year.
In May, developers Mulberry said the expected sale of the cinema chain had held up negotiations and that the work would probably start in October. At the time, Odeon said it had “nothing to share” about the Corby development.
The first steps in preparing Corby for its new cinema started at the end of 2011 when barriers went up around the old Tresham College campus in George Street before its demolition.
Corby Council set aside £500,000 to cover the cost of demolition work and the plan was to build a cinema and several restaurants on the site, with up to 100 one, two and three bedroom homes in the second phase of the development.
The site has remained untouched since it was cleared last year.