Published: 12:01, 30 June 2020
| Updated: 12:42, 30 June 2020
Work on a multi-million pound regeneration of Sittingbourne town centre is almost complete.
Spirit of Sittingbourne, the consortium delivering the project, has revealed that this week will bring the "practical completion" of the new Bourne Place leisure quarter, opposite the town’s railway station.
As well as a Travelodge hotel, which opened at the end of February, Bourne Place will feature an eight-screen Light Cinema, restaurants such as Nando's, Pizza Express, dessert chain Creams and a Loungers café bar.
With the works completing, having started in 2017, Spirit says tenants will now be invited to undertake the fit out of their units from July.
The opening dates for the new units are "under review", Spirit said, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and public health guidance, but the cinema is aiming to open its doors to the public in October.
The town's new Travelodge, which had to close almost immediately after opening due to the Covid-19 crisis, will reopen in July.
The £5.5 million hotel has 63 bedrooms and was the first business to start trading in the Bourne Place leisure quarter.
The Spirit of Sittingbourne regeneration project, which is a partnership between U+I, Quinn Estates, Essential Land and Swale council, is expected to bring more than £300m of investment to the town.
A Spirit spokesman said: "We are delighted to announce that the Bourne Place leisure quarter is nearing completion of the construction phase, with tenants being invited to fit out their units in the coming months.
"We appreciate the patience of the people of Sittingbourne during construction.
"Clearly, recent events have also altered our timetable.
"Public health permitting, we look forward to opening the leisure quarter to the public in the coming months."
The second phase of the regeneration project was scrapped after Swale council decided to end its partnership with other members of the Spirit of Sittingbourne consortium.
It means plans to develop high-rise housing in the form of 200 flats on three council-owned car parks - Cockleshell Walk, Spring Street and Fountain Street - will now not go ahead.