Greyfriars plans were delayed because of cinema worries

An artist's impression of the second scheme proposed for Greyfriars in Northampton
An artist's impression of the second scheme proposed for Greyfriars in Northampton
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Plans for the development of the former Northampton bus station site were held up because of a study into whether a third cinema in the town would be sustainable.

The two proposals for the Greyfriars site both hold the possibility of multi-screen cinemas.

But the council has revealed that the reason the public display of Scheme 1 and Scheme 2 was delayed was because a study was being carried out over whether a further cinema on top of the two existing ones - Vue in Sol Central and Cineworld at Sixfields - would work.

Council leader Mary Markham said: “That was the reason we didn’t go ahead earlier in April. We just needed to make sure that [another cinema] was viable.

“I think it’s something worth taking your time over. In 40 years’ time when I’m not here, I want it to be still going strong.”

The council said they hoped both schemes would not only be successful in their own right but would boost business to the Grosvenor Centre - for which improved access is proposed - and Abington Street.

Councillor Markham said: “We have talked to the Grosvenor Centre about the proposals and they’re very excited.

“They’re talking about perhaps opening stores longer to cater for increased footfall later on.”

Members of the public can continue to view the two proposed schemes today and tomorrow between 9am and 8pm at the Guildhall.