If planning is approved by West Lancashire Council, WonderWorld will be located on the second floor, above the main shopping level at the shopping centre and will include: jungle-themed adventure golf, ten pin bowling, large ninja-style inflatable, soft play area for toddlers, VR room, amusements with dodgems, electronic darts, cocktail bar with performance stage, American diner, artisan-style street food court and coffee bar. Plans for WonderWorld have been submitted as Ultra Star Cinema completes the final fit out and decoration of the deluxe, two-screen cinema, the town’s first cinema for 38 years.
David Halliwell, director of Lancashire-based Moorgate Developments, said: “This is a long awaited development by many, which is why we took our research to a higher level, looking at the most popular entertainment centres from as far away as Australia and America.
“We really invested time into looking at what a family needs and wants to make a great day out. WonderWorld will also cater for parties and corporate days and will welcome all age groups. “The key attractions we found provided us with the potential to develop the Concourse into a more diverse attraction that caters for people to have fun even when the weather is bad, and to meet the escapist needs of the entire family from toddlers to grandparents. It will be possible to spend all day in WonderWorld with friends and family and be entertained.”
He said amusements will feature the latest electronic videos and rides, while the spaceship-themed virtual reality room will have the latest electronic equipment. The artisan street food hall will have eight food stalls. Between 50 and 60 jobs will be created. Ultra Star Cinema will be the first cinema to open in the town since 1982 and it is being billed as an affordable experience, with tickets averaging just £5 and with competitively priced food and drinks. Asif Sahil, managing director of Ultra Star Cinema, said he is focusing on making it the state-of-the-art cinema a community-led facility, with a focus on affordability. Each 125-seat auditorium will be fitted with comfy, Italian leather high-back chairs, each with 1.5-metre spacing between rows, to create a luxury feel with additional legroom.
“This is our first cinema project and we want to get it right,” said Asif.
“We wanted to come to Skelmersdale because of the regeneration plans that are planned for the town and the Concourse Shopping Centre was the perfect space for what we envisaged. “We are putting the finishing touches to it now and can hardly wait to get the go ahead for it to open so we can start welcoming people and providing excellent customer service.” The opening of the cinema will create up to 16 full-and part-time local jobs.
Andrew Barrett, retail director at LCP, which is delivering the project on behalf of the Skelmersdale Limited Partnership, a joint venture between London and Cambridge Properties (LCP) and Threadneedle Investments, said the entertainment zone will be a welcome addition to both the shopping centre and the town. “These leisure plans promise to be transformative for the people of Skelmersdale, who have waited so long for such a first-class entertainment facility,” he said. “This will not just boost the amenities in the area, it will also be great for the economy, creating jobs and hopefully attracting further inward investment. We’re excited to be playing our part in this ambitious scheme for the town.”
The Concourse Shopping Centre is well connected to the motorway network and has excellent public transport links, with the town’s bus station on site. There are also plans for a new railway station nearby, which would link Skelmersdale to Manchester, Liverpool, Wigan and Southport.