An operator has signed up for a giant cinema complex – but the developer needs to secure more restaurants to make it happen.
It was announced in December 2015 that Liberty Properties Developments Ltd had been selected by the Welsh Government to create a 400-job leisure scheme at the entrance to Parc Bryn Cegin, Bangor.
Liberty’s proposals included a cinema, five restaurants, a family pub and a Welsh produce shop.
There has been frustration about a lack of progress on the scheme, with Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, and AM Siân Gwenllian putting pressure on the government to speed up the project.
It has now been revealed a cinema operator has signed up for a 40,000sq ft site (twice the size of Cineworld, Llandudno Junction) which would include 10 screens and a “superscreen”.
The firm’s identity has not been revealed at this stage due to “commercial confidentiality”.
Emyr Williams, development director with Liberty, said it was a major coup to secure the cinema operator.
But he added: “We have the operator signed up but need restaurants to sit alongside. We have two chains that we have agreed terms with, but we need six and this is currently a difficult market.
“I can promise everyone we are working hard on this, we would not be doing that if we did not think this could happen. As a North Walian, I want to see this development built.”
The company is targeting a number of national chains, including Nando’s, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Chiquito and Frankie and Benny’s.
Siân Gwenllian AM said: “There is much frustration and anger locally that Parc Bryn Cegin still lies empty after nearly 20 years.
“It is very disappointing there is no progress with the Liberty Properties project, nearly two years down the line.”
Hywel Williams MP said: “I’m very disappointed nothing has happened with the area designated for leisure use.
“I realise such developments take time, but local people have been looking forward to seeing Parc Bryn Cegin filled with companies providing well-paid employment for many years, but it is still empty.
“I would be glad if Liberty Properties could indicate where they are in the project and exactly what form of support is being provided to them by the Welsh Government.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Global economic conditions have meant that the last few years have been difficult for major property developments like Parc Bryn Cegin, and while progress at the site has been slower than both we and the community would have liked, we very much welcome recent developments which mean that a number of businesses are now lined up to build there.
“We are also very encouraged by the news that Liberty has now secured a cinema operator for the site and is in the process of signing up restaurant chains – developments that we anticipate will make a huge impact locally.
“Representatives of Liberty are due to meet Gwynedd Council’s members in January to provide them with a full update on progress at the site.”
Source: Daily Post