The creation of a new cinema in Durham City is one step closer.
The developers of Milburngate in Durham City have exchanged contracts with Everyman Group for a new boutique cinema that will form a significant element of its major riverside regeneration scheme.
Expected to open in 2019, the three-screen, 384-seat Everyman Cinema will become an anchor tenant at Milburngate, a development that will feature a "high quality" mix of homes, offices, restaurants and bars.
In addition to the 13,242 sq. ft. cinema, Milburngate will feature 11 leisure units ranging from 2,120 sq. ft. to 7,189 sq. ft.
The development consortium, which includes Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP, is also in advanced discussions with a number of premium restaurant and bar operators, who like Everyman are keen to secure space within schemes such as Milburngate.
Neil McMillan, Development Director at Carillion, said: “This agreement confirms our vision for Milburngate meets the aspirations of premium leisure operators.
"Everyman Cinema’s high quality boutique offering will attract visitors to Durham from across the North East and enhance the city’s position as a key destination in the region.”
Durham City will see the first Everyman Cinema open in the North East of England.
The company currently has 16 sites across the UK with a further six boutique cinemas planned to open in the next 24 months.
In addition to showing the latest cinema releases, Everyman offer a programme of films and special events including film festivals, seasons and live Q&As.
Crispin Lilly, CEO at Everyman, said: “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 2019."
The agreement precedes the submission of a planning application, this month, to Durham County Council for the development of the 5.3-acre site, which previously included the offices of Her Majesty’s Passport Office and National Savings and Investments.
Milburngate will be complemented by up to 150,000 sq. ft. of office space.
Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “Durham City is undoubtedly a jewel in the North East crown and Milburngate will further reinforce its position as a premier destination.
"As a County Durham-based developer we are committed to driving regeneration in our region.
"Milburngate is one of a number of large scale projects we are delivering through our successful joint venture with Carillon, which includes sister development Freemans Reach and the 60-acre mixed use scheme, DurhamGate."