A NEW cinema is set to open as part of the Northgate regeneration scheme.

The attraction will be opened by Scott Cinema Group and is set to be the 'flagship' space at the complex.

This announcement confirms the ‘anchor facility’ for the leisure-based scheme that is central to the future regeneration of Bridgwater town centre.

A 25-year agreement to lease has been signed which starts the marketing of the site to other potential tenants of the scheme which is being led and funded by Sedgemoor District Council.

The new cinema will have seven screens with the latest in audio and visual technology. There will be a boutique studio auditorium and a Director’s Lounge, which will be available for presentations, meetings and corporate events. The building will be fully accessible with dedicated wheelchair access to all screens.

Dan Harris, a director of Scott Cinemas said “We’re thrilled at the chance to be opening a brand new cinema in the heart of Bridgwater. We’ve operated in the town since 1983, and have seen admission levels rise over the years, to the point where we welcomed 105,000 people through our doors in 2018. It’s not a secret that we’ve struggled to cater for demand in more recent years with a limited number of screens and lack of accessibility options, so we’re excited to be able to share our plans for the future. With UK cinema admissions at an all-time high, our new venue in Bridgwater will allow us to cater for a more diverse and growing audience.”

The signing of the lease is the start of the marketing process for the rest of the scheme, which also includes space for four restaurants as well as a first floor gym/leisure space. Open space and gardens will lead onto the Brewery Field.

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans is advising the council on bringing forward the development and is now marketing the restaurant units and first floor space to potential operators.

Outline planning permission was given in July 2016 and a ‘reserved matters’ application will be submitted in the near future, which will have more details about the scheme. It is hoped that building will start on site in late 2019 with an expected opening in late 2021/early 2022.

Councillor Peter Downing, SDC’s Portfolio Holder for Infrastructure said “We are very excited that the new cinema will add a fantastic new dimension for the film-loving public.

The new facility will complement the other cinemas, community cinemas and film showing in a variety of buildings across Sedgemoor. Our property agents for the scheme have reported significant interest from potential occupiers in the food and beverage areas, which give us a high degree of confidence to market the remainder of the scheme.