Published: 10:00, 30 June 2016
| Updated: 10:11, 30 June 2016
Movie lovers could soon enjoy their favourite films on a giant IMAX screen as part of plans to expand Ashford’s multiplex cinema.
The screen would be only the second of its type in Kent and would be built at the Cineworld complex in the Eureka Leisure Park near junction 9 of the M20.
A planning application for the Cineworld expansion has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council’s planning department today by Land Securities.
It has been validated and is available for the public to view online, and will include a total of three more screens at the complex.
Cineworld currently boasts 12 screens at the site, and is also behind the planned six screen cinema development in Ashford town centre.
The screens in Elwick Place will be operated by a company called Picturehouse, which is Cineworld’s boutique cinema brand.
Company director Kevin Frost said: “We are committed to bringing the best cinema choice to our Ashford customers.
“That means providing both an out-of-town multiplex experience at Eureka Park which will include new IMAX and 4DX theatres, and an in-town boutique cinema offer with a outstanding food and beverage service at Elwick Place.”
The news has been welcomed by council leader Gerry Clarkson who said it is vital that planning processes are adhered to at the Eureka Park site.
He said: “That such a significant operator as Cineworld has submitted plans for an IMAX at Eureka, in addition to the complementary six screens in Elwick Place should illustrate that Ashford continues to attract major investment.
“It is seen by investors as an integral part of their business models.”
The Elwick Place cinema scheme is being led by developer Stanhope. Company director Gary Bourne said the Cineworld partnership is a big step forward for the town centre site.
He added: “Cineworld’s commitment to bring the boutique Picturehouse brand to the town centre will make a real difference to the town’s economy, including in the evening.
“Along with the new restaurants it will strengthen the existing leisure offer, drive growth and benefit the town as a whole.”
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