Published: 12:35, 27 November 2019
| Updated: 12:46, 27 November 2019
A range of new public events have been pledged for Lockmeadow in Maidstone after the council took over as landlord of the complex.
The local authority has bought out the 105-year lease for £19.1 million, some of which has been funded by borrowing and some through internal resources.
MBC says it will be working to make improvements to the building’s appearance through upgraded lighting and better signage as part of a large refurbishment.
The hope is that it will turn Lockmeadow into a key destination for leisure activities in the town centre.
It is already home to an Odeon multiplex cinema, 18-lane bowling alley, a trampoline park, restaurants and a two-level David Lloyd swimming pool and gym complex.
Lockmeadow also has several car parks and is home to the market hall operated by the local authority.
Tenants at the complex currently pay a net rent of just over £1.5m and the council insists they will all be consulted as part of future investments and work to market the complex.
There will also be further opportunities to generate revenue through things such as Amazon lockers, kiosks and advertising space.
Mark Green, MBC director of finance and business improvement said: “Maidstone Borough Council is delighted to be taking on the lease of Lockmeadow which we consider is an integral part of the visitor destination to our County Town.
“We see that the complex plays a huge contribution to the Maidstone economy, and plan to manage it effectively to ensure it is a key destination for residents and visitors which will encourage them to go there and spend quality leisure time with their family and friends.
“By investing in the site, we will generate a financial return, which is in line with our commercial investment strategy.
“In addition, taking control of a centrally located site, that plays a key role in Maidstone’s leisure offer to visitors, will help the council realise its priority of making the borough a thriving place.”