Ealing's long wait for a cinema nears an end

by James Renoux-Wood Thu 19 December 2013, 4:23 pm

Outline planning permission has been granted for a multi-screen cinema in Ealing, which will form part of a wider quarter to be known as Ealing Filmworks.

The council’s planning committee granted approval for the £100 million scheme last night (19 December), ending a five-year wait for a cinema to be built in the borough.

Since the borough’s only cinema, The Empire, closed down in 2008, there have been repeated demands from the council and Ealing residents for a new facility.

A new cinema will now be built in place of the derelict Empire site, opposite the town hall on New Broadway. The quarter will comprise shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, a gallery and community space, an outdoor screen and up to 161 new homes.

The scheme has support from the Ealing Broadway Business Improvement District and West London Business – the chamber of commerce for west London.

Written feedback from local residents at a summer exhibition in the town indicated that 91.8 per cent of residents were positive about the proposals.

Ealing Council selected Land Securities as its development partner in December 2012.

Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: "Getting a new cinema in the town centre will be on many residents’ Christmas wish lists and seeing this project move a step closer is excellent news.

“The council has been doing everything possible to see this derelict site brought back to life and we are firmly committed to Land Securities building Ealing’s new cinema quarter.   

“We hope agreement can be reached for Land Securities to acquire the sites but if it isn’t then we are fully prepared to use our compulsory purchase order powers."

Land Securities is now progressing with the design proposals, and says the cinema could be open by late 2017.

Riccardo Mai, project director at the developer, said: "This is a major step forward in finally delivering a high-quality cinema-led regeneration on this site. 

"We are delighted the committee has recognised the wide-ranging benefits Ealing Filmworks will bring to local residents, shops, restaurants and businesses. 

"We look forward to continuing to work with the council, residents and other stakeholders to progress the detailed plans."

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