Leeds council greenlights 2,000-seat cinema at Thorpe Park

PLANS for a new 2,000-seater cinema at Thorpe Park have been given the provisional green light by Leeds City Council.

Scarborough Group's proposals for Thorpe Park

The 12-screen cinema would form part of a major mixed-use development being led by property firm Scarborough Group International.

The £400m scheme’s elements include office, retail and leisure uses.

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A planning application statement submitted to the council says the addition of a cinema to that package would help lure “better quality” companies to the site.

Space for the attraction would be created by reducing the amount of room available for hotel use, explains the statement.

It also says there is “a substantial opportunity for a cinema situated within this development, serving both the development users and the residents of the [east] side of Leeds”.

The statement goes on: “Given the distance to, and level of current provision in, other centres and destinations, a cinema at Thorpe Park would be unlikely to compete or conflict with existing cinema provision.” Members of a council panel have delegated the cinema proposal for approval by the authority’s chief planning officer, subject to a series of conditions being fulfilled.

A report compiled for the panel says: “Commercial leisure agents advise that a clear demand for cinema provision exists and would act as a catalyst within the scheme to attract and retain quality food and drink operations and aid the retention of quality employers.”

Issues that were considered by panel members when the plans came up for discussion included the Thorpe Park area’s public transport infrastructure as well as the importance of measures that would ensure local people benefited from the scheme’s employment opportunities.