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New Shrewsbury Riverside plans may include cinema

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A cinema could be included in Shrewsbury's new Riverside development – although developers are remaining tight-lipped on the plans.

An artist’s impression of the planned £150m New Riverside development in Shrewsbury

It is understood that consideration is being given to inserting leisure facilities, including a movie theatre, into the £150 million shopping centre in the heart of the town.

However, Shearer Property Group which is behind the plans, has not commented about the possibility of using part of the scheme to build a town centre cinema.

Recently, proposals for the New Riverside were put back by at least two years, with construction now set to begin in early 2015 instead of this summer, with completion expected in summer 2017, rather than autumn 2015.

High street retail has taken something of a battering in recent months, and similar complexes have been built with leisure facilities included to add another incentive for visitors.

The most recently completed comparable project, the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds, was built with significant leisure developments including cafes and a cinema.

Despite recent setbacks, those involved in the scheme insist that the plans remain intact.

Mr Shearer said last month that while there was no guarantee that the scheme would still go ahead, work was being done to drive it forward, and Shropshire Council chief executive Clive Wright has insisted it remains "on track".

When the plans were originally announced in 2011, it was hoped that work on the scheme to build one giant interlinked mall in the heart of Shrewsbury could start this summer, with the centre being ready in time for autumn 2015.

If the scheme goes ahead, the Riverside Shopping Centre would be demolished and rebuilt with links created to the two other existing centres, the Darwin and Pride Hill complexes.

The construction work and new stores expected from the redevelopment are due to create hundreds of jobs.

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