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Credit: NewRiver

NewRiver reels in the blockbusters Wakefield’s first cinema

NewRiver, specialist convenience and community retail and leisure investor, has completed a repositioning of retail units at The Ridings in Wakefield to create a new five-screen cinema for independent operator Reel Cinemas.

The introduction of a 11,650 sq ft state-of-the-art cinema within three traditional retail units, forms part of NewRiver’s continued active and innovative asset management strategy. It is the result of advanced new projection technology, which requires less ceiling height than standard cinema builds.

David Charlton, Asset Manager at NewRiver at NewRiver, said, “This is a new way to look at repurposing the oversupply of retail space in our towns and cities. It demonstrates how we are committed to finding new innovative asset management opportunities in its centres, through our active asset management style.

“Working with Reel Cinemas, we have been able to offer an authentic and modern cinema experience in units originally designed for retail. This introduces a much needed leisure use into the centre, with all the benefits of extended opening hours and complementary dining offers, to enhance the city’s overall appeal. As shoppers needs and habits change, we must adapt and respond to keep our town centres thriving for the future.”

The opening of the Reel Cinema is an important milestone as part of NewRiver’s continued programme of refurbishment and improvement at The Ridings in Wakefield, to strengthen the leisure offer and firmly establish the centre as a community hub within the city.

All Saints Yard, a new arts and community space, launched (earlier this year) in partnership with The Art House creating a new and original attraction in the city.  NewRiver has also completed a refurbishment to create a 240-cover Food Court within the centre, anchored by the Keg & Kitchen, a food-led community pub, operated by NewRiver’s pub platform, Hawthorn Leisure.

The centre also boasts a pop up unit, which regularly hosts a different local brand in order to give the brand exposure and experience of a physical shop presence. Currently in situ are Made and Found and A&R galleries, both local to Yorkshire and represent over 100 local artists and business.