Cinema operator signs up as Forge Island anchor

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A cinema operator has signed a deal to become the leisure anchor at Rotherham’s Forge Island development.

The Arc Cinema has exchanged a long-term lease with urban regeneration specialist Muse Developments.

The cinema operator currently has six sites across the UK and Ireland, with a further two UK sites under construction and due to open in mid-2021.

Along with the cinema, the Forge Island plans include a new hotel, food and drink outlets and a car park. The new leisure facilities will be set within a public square with a new pedestrian bridge connecting the scheme to the wider town centre.

Brian Gilligan, director at Melcorpo, which runs The Arc Cinema, said: “We were delighted to be selected by Rotherham Council and Muse to bring one of our state-of-the-art cinemas to the Forge Island site. We would like to express our grateful thanks to them for their support in helping make this possible.

“Everyone is really looking forward to treats like cinema and restaurant trips again so we’re particularly excited to have the opportunity to be part of this good news story for the Rotherham community at this time.”

Dan Needham, development director at Muse Developments, said: “Agreeing a deal with such a respected operator as The Arc Cinema is a ringing endorsement of the innovative plans we’re looking to deliver at Forge Island.

“Working collaboratively with the council and partners, we’re working hard to develop a game-changing scheme that will bring a real vibrancy not seen before, that will drive inward investment and growth to the local economy, while providing opportunities and prosperity at a time that it’s needed most. Forge Island represents what can be achieved when the best of the public and private sector come together with the same vision, drive and goal in mind.”

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, said: “This is a significant milestone in Rotherham’s development which we are excited to announce. We can’t wait to see a brand new, state of the art, eight-screen cinema on Forge Island – bringing blockbuster movies back to the town centre for the first time in over 30 years.”

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