A multi-screen cinema is one step closer to coming to the borough after five years of repeated requests.
Land Securities’ outline planning application for Ealing Filmworks- a wider film quarter- was approved by the borough council’s Planning Committee on December 18.
This is set to transform the derelict site of the former Empire cinema opposite the town hall on New Broadway along with 14-16 Bond Street, Walpole House and Flava’s Bar in Mattock Lane, into a high quality leisure destination.
The vision is to create a contemporary, mixed-use development that will generate around 350 new jobs, with additional jobs during the two year construction period, and which will support economy by attracting more trade to the town centre.
Plans require an investment of around £100million and include a multi-screen cinema, commercial units for shops, restaurants, bars and cafés, a gallery or community space, an outdoor screen, up to 161 new homes and a flexible performance area with amphitheatre-style seating
Land Securities, the UK’s largest commercial property company, will now progress the detailed design of the proposals and, if required, a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), before beginning construction.
The cinema could open in late 2017 with the development completed by 2018.
Project Director at Land Securities, Riccardo Mai, said: “We are delighted the committee has recognised the wide ranging benefits Ealing Filmworks will bring to local residents, shops, restaurants and businesses and we look forward to continuing to work with Ealing Council, residents and other stakeholders to progress the detailed plans.”
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “Getting a new cinema in the town centre will be on many residents’ Christmas wish lists and seeing this project move a step closer is excellent news.
“The council has been doing everything possible to see this derelict site brought back to life and we hope agreement can be reached for Land Securities to acquire the sites but if there isn’t we are fully prepared to use our CPO powers.”
The plans have been supported by the Ealing Broadway Business Improvement District and West London Business, the chamber of commerce for West London.