The announcement, confirmed by Kingsgate owners WD (Kingsgate), follows Kirklees Council’s decision to grant planning permission to convert the House of Fraser unit at the center into several restaurants and a street food area on the lower ground floor with the multi-screen cinema on the upper floor. In addition, the Kingsgate development works will include the creation of the cinema’s Sky Bar complete with an external slide that can convey guests from the bar to its lobby. WD (Kingsgate) will commence construction works in early 2020 with the Light Cinemas set for an opening by Spring 2021.
Keith Pullinger, CEO of Light Cinemas, commented: “We’re hugely looking forward to our 12th cinema becoming a key part of Huddersfield’s town center regeneration. Not only will we bring film to the heart of Huddersfield, but a sky bar, slide and other exciting experiences which will be revealed in the coming months.”
Kirklees Council called the planning approval ‘the first step’ in delivering its ten-year £250million vision to create a thriving, modern-day town center. Huddersfield is home to around 150,000 residents. The 26,000 sq m Kingsgate has a footfall of around 8.5 million customers per annum.
Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “This will be a great asset for the town and offers visitors something different to do in Huddersfield Town Center. We can no longer rely on retail alone to have thriving town centers and it’s fantastic to see our local businesses sharing our vision for Kirklees and thinking of new and innovative ways to attract people. I’m also really happy to be welcoming Light Cinemas to Kirklees, alongside the new restaurants and bars that will be coming, too.”
Peter Everest of Kingsgate owners WD (Kingsgate), added: “The agreement with Light Cinemas is serious affirmation for our proposal to modernise Kingsgate and to see it evolve in to a fully-integrated and engaging shopping, leisure and lifestyle destination that will, in turn, invigorate Huddersfield. The work both ourselves and the Council will now be undertaking will further enhance the center, transform the town and ensure that Huddersfield is the principal retail site between Manchester and Leeds. We look forward to delivering an innovative and community-connected Kingsgate center for the years ahead.”