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Lockmeadow complex home of Hollywood Bowl, GBK and Odeon, to be given makeover after Maidstone Borough Council approves plans

A leisure centre in Maidstone is set to be given a facelift, after councillors approved plans.

The aim of the revamp is to give the Lockmeadow leisure complex a more modern look and link it the riverside close by.

Lockmeadow in Maidstone is set for a facelift Picture: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com
Lockmeadow in Maidstone is set for a facelift Picture: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

The improvements include redesigning and painting parts of the façade, removing a gated car park entrance as well as the cow shed structure in the car park and getting rid of parking railings.

Maidstone Borough Council took over as landlord of the centre in November, buying out the 105-year lease for £19.1 million.

The authority submitted the makeover plans, which were approved by the planning committee on Thursday.

Chair of the committee, Cllr Clive English said: “The council is committed to working as an active landlord at Lockmeadow.

"We see that making improvements and updating the appearance of the building and facilities will create a place people will want to go and spend quality time at and this first phase of the alterations will be part of that.”

It is hoped Lockmeadow's makeover will link it to the riverside close by
It is hoped Lockmeadow's makeover will link it to the riverside close by

The council hopes the refurbishments will help attract and retain tenants, as well as make it an attractive destination for residents and visitors.

Cllr Paul Harper, ward councillor for the area added: “Lockmeadow plays a huge contribution to the Maidstone economy, and by investing in the site, we will generate a financial return, which is in line with our commercial investment strategy.

"The complex plays a key role in the leisure offer to visitors, and these improvements will help the council realise its priority of making the borough a thriving place.

Maidstone Council's planning committee, chaired by Cllr Clive English, approved the makeover plans for Lockmeadow Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone Council's planning committee, chaired by Cllr Clive English, approved the makeover plans for Lockmeadow Picture: Andy Jones

“At a time when the local economy needs a strong boost to help it recover from Covid-19, this is exactly what the council should be doing."

Several businesses in the complex have reopened after closing during the pandemic, such as Gravity, a trampoline park and The Feathers pub.

Hollywood Bowl, Franky and Benny's and GBK are to open in August.

The cinema, however, currently being refurbished, will not welcome cinephiles back until October.

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