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Cineworld Ashford IMAX extension work begins on Eureka Leisure Park years after plans approved


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Cinema chiefs have started work on a long-awaited extension which includes the installation of an IMAX screen.

Bold proposals to expand Cineworld on the Eureka Leisure Park in Ashford were approved in September 2016, featuring a new entrance and a pair of restaurants.

How the cinema could look from above, featuring the new entrance and extension to the left
How the cinema could look from above, featuring the new entrance and extension to the left

Work finally began earlier this month and contractors were still seen on the land yesterday despite the coronavirus outbreak.

A four-storey extension to the existing cinema is planned - adding two new screens featuring one IMAX - as well as a reworked entrance and two restaurants.

Bosses want to build the restaurants either side of Pizza Hut - one in the cinema extension and another separate unit.

Cineworld bosses had gained permission to build three new screens, but lowered that to two in 2018.

The cinema chain was unable to provide a comment when asked by KentOnline this week, but Cllr Diccon Spain (Lab) says he has been in touch with the firm.

Contractors were seen working on the site yesterday
Contractors were seen working on the site yesterday
Work on the cinema extension has begun
Work on the cinema extension has begun
Where the new development is set to go, with the new units highlighted in orange
Where the new development is set to go, with the new units highlighted in orange

The Bockhanger ward councillor says he is pleased to see work has begun and is looking forward to the arrival of IMAX in Ashford.

"I think it's great as it will be a good addition to the town," he said.

"It will be an extra attraction for the cinema and it differentiates it from others in the area."

The zig-zag footpath which links the leisure park with the Bockhanger estate is still accessible despite the works.

Cllr Spain added: "It would be nice to make more of the path.

Cineworld closed earlier this month amid the coronavirus outbreak
Cineworld closed earlier this month amid the coronavirus outbreak
The IMAX screen will go behind Pizza Hut
The IMAX screen will go behind Pizza Hut
How the development is set to look
How the development is set to look

"It strikes me as an asset and it would be nice to make it a garden on a hillside or something like that."

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, Cineworld branches across Kent - including Ashford's - shut earlier this month.

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