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Bournemouth's Imax is going to be pulled down after it was bought by the Council for £7.5 million.
The Waterfront complex was voted the most hated building in England on Channel 4's Demolition in 2005, and now it's going to be pulled down by the summer.
Council Leader, Cllr Stephen MacLoughlin said:
“We have listened to Bournemouth’s residents who want to see the seafront rid of the detested IMAX building. We have given the existing occupiers enough time to deliver on this site and will not wait for action any longer. The time is right for the Council to seize the initiative.
The Council explored the option of buying the building over two years ago but the cost was estimated at that time as being around £15 million, which was unaffordable. The cost now, to buy and demolish the building is expected to be around half this figure. This will be funded from a mix of existing capital receipts not yet earmarked for projects, and prudential borrowing by the Council.
Councillor MacLoughlin went on to explain, "We have already exchanged contracts and the purchase will be completed on Monday 1 February – at which point the Council will own the building.This is the first step in the process and there are still a number of hurdles to be overcome before we can bring back some sea views and commence development of an all-weather attraction. This will take time and will not happen overnight.”
They still need to secure vacant possession from the remaining sub-tenants before they can proceed with any re-development and are entering into negotiations with all the relevant parties, in parallel with initiating a Compulsory Purchase Order.
Councillor John Beesley stated, “Let’s not forget, this is a prime seafront location and our aspirations extend beyond simply just getting rid of this eyesore. We want to develop a new facility which can accommodate leisure, arts, culture and entertainment attractions for the public to enjoy whatever the weather.”
Cllr MacLoughlin concluded, “The Council has taken the opportunity brought about by the recession to deal with this eyesore. Based on public feedback, we know this move will have widespread support. The redevelopment of the site for viable, all-weather attractions will enhance the town’s image and reputation as Britain’s premier resort.”
The project's going to be funded from a mix of existing capital receipts not yet earmarked for projects, and prudential borrowing by the Council.