A key milestone in the regeneration of Basildon town centre has been celebrated as the steel structure of the new cinema in East Square reaches completion.
A virtual topping out ceremony to mark the achievement was held via video link on Tuesday October 13 following the changes to Government guidance in relation to Covid-19.
Leader of Basildon Council, Gavin Callaghan said: “This is a real moment for Basildon town centre and local residents and one of many to come in the future of this town centre. We are delivering our promise to transform this town and bring a night-time economy to Basildon that it’s been lacking.
“This 10 screen cinema and restaurants complex is the first sign of what is to come. Big changes for maximum impact that will breathe new life into the town and bring opportunities for businesses and residents.
“It’s been a difficult seven months for everyone, but with the strong partnerships we have built with McLaren Construction and Empire Cinemas this project is still on track with the build phase scheduled to complete next summer.”
Chief Executive of Basildon Council, Scott Logan said: “We have ambitious and exciting plans for the future of the town centre and this development will play a major part in it. It’s fantastic to see such great partnership working at a time of such uncertainty across the country.”
Chief Executive of Empire Cinemas, Justin Ribbons said “Despite the current difficulties caused by the pandemic across the leisure and hospitality sector Empire Cinemas is excited to be coming back to Basildon and we feel that cinema will remain at the heart of the community and are looking forward to opening.
“Cinema is the key to regeneration and is a popular activity for all ages. We will be running parent and baby screenings and other initiatives that will appeal to a large cross section of the community.”
Managing Director – South at McLaren, Jay Newman, added: “At McLaren we are proud to have been chosen by Basildon Council to deliver this ambitious leisure destination at East Square for the town and its community. We understand the importance of the scheme and its place as a stepping stone for the wider reimaging and regeneration of the town centre. It is testament to team collectively that despite recent events the project is still maintaining its original build programme.”
The build phase of the project is expected to be complete next summer.