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Westover Road looks set for regeneration as councillors give the green light to a £43 million cinema development.
The project by developer Osborne Bournemouth Limited will bring a state of the art multiscreen cinema, restaurants and shops, underground parking for around 350 cars and an interval court.
It’s expected to create 200 new jobs.
Original plans for the site had included a casino but this was considered controversial and unviable in the wake of the economic downturn.
The building is being significantly redesigned to fit with the new use; changes to the footprint will create more active frontages to Bath Road and a smaller car park than originally planned. Rooftop gardens, an amphitheatre and terraces all feature.
Councillors agreed the broad changes to the scheme at a special Cabinet meeting on Tuesday February 1 and a fresh planning application will be considered in the coming months.
Cllr Ian Lancashire, Cabinet member for Major Projects, said:
“We welcome the decision not to include a casino within this project – the new plans fit much more closely with our aspirations of providing family friendly attractions and will generate higher footfall in this part of town.
“We hope this will kick-start further investment in Westover Road. Making better use of town centre land will be a major driver in improving our economy and profits from this landmark scheme will move forward restoration of our historic Pavilion.”
Developer Trevor Osborne said:
“We have always been deeply committed to this project and to Bournemouth and are determined to leave a positive and lasting legacy for the town. The cinemas in Westover Road are keen to relocate to our new development and we hope to continue our commitment to the town by regenerating the buildings they leave behind.”
The scheme remains subject to planning approval, funding and approval by the Lower Gardens Trust.
Despite delays to Osborne Bournemouth Ltd’s leisure development, Bournemouth Borough Council has continued to breathe new life into the 1920s Pavilion.
A new world class dance centre is now up and running within the seaside end of the building, the Ballroom roof and floor have been restored and there has been investment in the theatre seating.
A proposal to create a drama centre for the Arts University College within another vacant part of the building is also under consideration.