Bosses at the Wildlife Trust hope the new cinema, bowling alley and cycle hire facilities at Rushden Lakes will attract more people to its new visitor centre.
The county branch of the Wildlife Trust has welcomed the news that the major retail and leisure development just off the A45 at Rushden will have a multiplex cinema as well as a bowling alley and numerous other leisure attractions.
Planning permission was granted by East Northants Council’s planning management committee last week and the trust hopes this will attract even more people to the visitor centre they will be running at the former Skew Bridge site.
Oliver Burke, director for living landscapes at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, said: “We welcome the news that the Rushden Lakes cinema and other leisure and recreation facilities received planning permission.
“We are very much looking forward to opening our very first visitor centre at Rushden Lakes next year and managing the nature reserve there.
“This land will link together four of our existing nature reserves in the Nene Valley to create a beautiful expanse of lakes and meadows for both people and wildlife to enjoy.
“Once they open the cinema, bowling alley and cycle hire granted consent last week they will attract even more people to the centre who we hope will take the time to explore the world-class wildlife destination on its doorstep.”
The new visitor centre will include a shop, café and visitor information and has been designed to take advantage of the views of the nature reserve.
The Wildlife Trust says birds which they think will thrive at the new reserve include wigeon, teal, lapwing, kingfisher and the great crested grebe.
The visitor centre is due to open next Spring as part of the first phase of the scheme.
Big names already lined up for the £140 million Rushden Lakes development include Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, H&M, Primark, Jigsaw, Phase Eight and L’Occitane.
Cineworld will be running the multiplex cinema.
It is estimated that the combined retail, leisure and tourism offering will attract more than three million visitors every year.