Barnfield Construction has swung into action on a multi-million-pound cinema and leisure complex in Blackburn.

Work is now well underway on the groundworks for the ambitious £10m scheme that will see an eight-screen Reel Cinema created with VIP lounge, restaurants, bars and an undercroft car park.

The venture, on the site of the former Waves Water Fun Centre, will be the first of its kind in the country – bringing together a fusion of Hollywood, Bollywood and independent cinema.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is spearheading the project, which is a fundamental part of the regeneration the Northgate area of the town, with Reel signing a long-term lease to operate there.

Celebrating the first spade in the ground, Cllr Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The start of the works on this new cinema complex is pivotal for the future development of the Northgate leisure and cultural area of Blackburn town centre and I can’t wait to see it progress.

“In a time when the Government is expecting councils to be financially self-sufficient, schemes like these are incredibly important to ensure we can generate income and support the delivery of services for our residents.

“It’s fantastic to be working alongside Reel Cinemas Ltd and I’ve no doubt the complex will complement the area and prove to be a huge success.”

Once completed by Barnfield Construction, the cinema will be home to the very latest in sound and visual technology and will sit alongside two restaurants and bars, boasting their own external terraces, which will be available to let.

The new terraces will overlook a new public square which will link the College to the planned work at Blakey Moor and King Georges Hall.

Reel’s owner, Kailash Chander ‘KC’ Suri added: “It’s fantastic that the groundworks have now started and it’s exciting to see the vision for the new cinema complex starting to become a reality.

“We are working to create something really unique on this site and I couldn’t think of a more perfect location than here in Blackburn to host future Bollywood premiers.”

In the meantime, new hoardings have been erected around the site perimeter while development gets underway.

Chairman and Managing Director for Barnfield Construction, Tim Webber MBE said: “We are proud to be partners in developing this cinema complex, which is Blackburn’s flagship regeneration project.

“We’re looking forward to delivering a really high-quality build which residents in Blackburn and Darwen can be proud of and enjoy for years to come.”

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