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Reports say Ipswich Buttermarket cinema project has ‘fallen through’

PUBLISHED: 11:18 07 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:05 08 February 2015

Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich

Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich

Archant

Ambitious proposals to create a new multi-screen cinema in Ipswich town centre have apparently fallen through.

Nationwide operator Vue has been in discussions with the owners of the Buttermarket Centre for the past two years to convert the centre’s department store unit into a £7million cinema.

Talks were also held with planning officers at Ipswich Borough Council to try to ensure that any change of use would be acceptable to the town and the project was given the authority’s backing in the autumn of 2012.

The idea was to revamp and extend the centre of the Buttermarket complex, building up into the roof to create the room for extra cinema screens.

Vue, which operates many cinemas in shopping centres across the country, planned to create a 1,350-seat multiplex. It expected the venture to create about 100 full and part-time jobs

Work was expected to start in 2013 but no deal was completed, and last year Vue said discussions were still ongoing.

Now it is understood the nine-screen project will not be going ahead – with costs of the work involved thought to be the main problem.

No-one from Vue or the borough council was available for comment today.

There has been speculation that the Odeon, which closed in 2005 and recently sold at auction for £530,000, could reopen as a cinema.

It is understood the building is basically sound and to reopen it as a cinema would not be a major task.

Ipswich already has 13 cinema screens – 11 at Cineworld on Cardinal Park and two at the Film Theatre in the Corn Exchange.


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