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Multi-Screen Cinema Project Moves Step Closer

A project to turn a former Debenhams department store into a multi-screen cinema and leisure complex has taken another significant step forward.

Lichfield District Council has approved a buyout clause for the city-centre development which now means work can start in earnest on the regeneration next year.

The Staffordshire council first announced 18 months ago that it was eyeing the former store in Baker’s Lane, part of the Three Spires shopping centre, for a major transformation scheme.

The unit has been vacant since May 2021 after the famous department store chain fell into administration and closed its entire presence on the nation’s high streets.

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The work is being carried out in partnership with Evolve Estates, a London-based property investment company which specialises in regeneration through active asset management and which bought Three Spires last year.

Council leader Cllr Doug Pullen said: “This milestone is the result of extensive negotiations over many months with our partners. I am thrilled to launch this gateway project which, after decades of inactivity, signifies a new era for our city.

“We are committed to enhancing leisure and lifestyle opportunities in the district in line with the feedback we received during our extensive consultations with our residents. This development is just the beginning of our five-year journey to rejuvenate our city centre.

“The buyback clause gives us the expertise, support and funding to launch the project while giving us the opportunity to retain the future benefits of the scheme in the district.

“I am also looking forward to being able to share news of some exciting new food and beverage brands that will be coming to Lichfield as part of the development and will give details in due course.”

An operator for the new cinema has not yet been announced but the council said legal documents were now with all parties.

Three Spires covers 70,000 sq ft and counts Sports Direct, Tesco, The Entertainer and Bonmarché among its tenants.

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