Plan to build cinema in Wellingborough

Wellingborough's multi-storey car park
Wellingborough's multi-storey car park

Plans to redevelop a multi-storey car park and build a cinema and restaurant complex there will be discussed next week.

A company has approached Wellingborough Council with a proposal to build a leisure complex with a cinema and restaurants on top of the car park in Wellingborough town centre.

Councillors now have to decide whether they agree in principal to redevelopment of the car park and any related council premises before any negotiations can continue.

The car park is currently managed by Wellingborough Norse at a cost of £156,000 per year, but maintenance costs in recent years have increased due to vandalism.

A report in 2010 showed the cost of extending its life by 50 years would cost more than £2m, and figures show the car park’s occupancy rate has fallen from 72 per cent in November 2008 to 60 per cent in November 2014.

The authority has three options; to repair the car park using its capital funds to extend its lifespan, work in partnership with a third party to deal with the repairs and maintenance and use part of the car park for leisure or retail, or sell it.

The report for the council’s services committee states: “Councillors are recommended to agree the second option in principle.

“The challenge of an ageing car park is one which will continue to test the council, and the second option addresses this point as well as providing a more attractive town centre.

“At this stage an agreement in principle is requested because work will need to be carried out on a business case, feasibility study and consultation with relevant partners to ensure that a further report can be made to members with sufficient information to make a decision.”

The meeting is at Swanspool House at 7pm on Monday.

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