Our regeneration proposals took another major step forward last week when we signed pre-let agreements which will see Everyman Cinemas and Premier Inn coming to Wokingham town centre.
These agreements will see the two major brands move into new units in the borough council’s Elms Field development once their buildings are complete.
Growing interest and confidence in town
Bernie Pich, head of town centre regeneration at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “It’s been great seeing such growing interest and confidence in the town since we started to secure planning consent for the different regeneration phases. We’ve been talking to a variety of companies about taking on units and we think local people are going to be excited when they see the businesses signing up to come to the town.
“Premier Inn has been involved in the scheme since the early days and has now reconfirmed their commitment to moving into the hotel at the southern end of the site. It’s a fantastic brand to have secured for Wokingham. Premier continue to win awards for the quality of their service, including being named the UK’s Best Family Hotels at the 2016 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award.”
Jo Moon, director of acquisitions for Premier Inn, said: “Bringing superb new locations like Wokingham town centre into our portfolio is great news for Premier Inn and for our guests. This is an important opportunity for us to invest in the town and participate in a high-quality development project. We’re looking forward to work starting and towards opening the doors on another fantastic Premier Inn hotel in the near future.”
Bernie Pich added: “We’re also incredibly pleased to have signed a pre-let agreement with Everyman Cinemas who will be running the new three-screen boutique cinema at Elms Field. Local people have continued to tell us Wokingham lacks things to do and has limited entertainment options. We have had repeated requests for a new cinema at each stage of our consultations and this long awaited boutique facility is a first for the local area.
“Everyman Cinemas is a perfect fit for the town. One of the fastest growing independent cinema networks in the country, Everyman prides itself on an exceptional film watching experience, from great design and service, to comfortable seating and good atmosphere. It will offer something for everyone, with a programme which balances blockbuster movies with more select films, alongside live screenings of theatre and opera from some of the leading performance venues in the world.”
Crispin Lilly, CEO of Everyman Cinemas, said: "We're delighted to announce our plans for the arrival of a new Everyman in Wokingham. We're excited to become a destination for the local community to indulge in a great night out. Our venues are intimate spaces that offer a diverse range of film and events for all our guests along with great food and drink. We look forward to opening the doors in the near future."
Planning consent for the proposals at Elms Field, including the designs for the hotel and cinema, was secured on 6 April.
Work on site at Elms Field will start in spring 2017 and is expected to be complete by 2020. In the coming months a detailed phasing plan for work will be developed identifying when individual elements such as the cinema and hotel are expected to be completed.