The Arc Cinema has signed a long-term lease with the innovative developer and investor, Squarestone Asset Management, to become the leisure anchor at Ayr’s Kyle Centre.
Coupled with South Ayrshire Council’s planned Leisure Centre on the Arran Mall site, which is also controlled by Squarestone Asset Management, this will see a key area in the heart of the town centre repurposed into a vibrant cultural and leisure destination.
Tim Barlow, Chief Operating Officer at Squarestone Asset Management commented “We are delighted with the outcome of the efforts of all involved, particularly, given the challenges of recent months. The Arc Cinema signing is a real endorsement of Ayr and we are all very excited about them committing to this opportunity. Squarestone Asset Management can now look at signing food and beverage operators to complement the cinema. The Arc Cinema is a great cultural contribution to the regeneration of Ayr town centre, supporting the vision South Ayrshire Council have set out to create.”
The Arc Cinema is a boutique cinema operator that currently has six sites across the UK and Ireland, with a further two UK sites under construction and due to open in mid-2021. It specialises in providing a VIP cinema experience for the price of a standard ticket.
Along with the cinema at the Kyle Centre, plans include food and beverage outlets, a host of complementary leisure activities such as virtual reality, soft play, indoor golf experience and a refurbished car park. The new facilities will be set within a fully refurbished and extended Kyle Centre which will connect the scheme to the wider town centre, and an expanding range of leisure and entertainment offers to create a real sense of place.
Brian Gilligan, director at Melcorpo, which runs The Arc Cinema, said: “We are delighted to be working with Squarestone Asset Management to bring one of our state-of-the-art cinemas to the Kyle Centre in Ayr. We would like to express our grateful thanks to them for their support in helping make this possible.
“The large high-specification eight-screen cinema has been specially designed to ensure we become a leisure hub, enabling us to provide a focal point for the people of Ayr. Our customers love the fact that we offer a luxurious VIP experience, but we only charge standard cinema prices, and we think that unique combination is perfectly suited to Ayr.
“Everyone is really looking forward to treats like cinema and restaurant trips again so we’re particularly excited to have the opportunity to be part of this good news story for the South Ayrshire community at this time.”
Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “This is fantastic news. We want to make South Ayrshire a better place to live for everyone, and this is a significant milestone as part of the regeneration of our town centre.
“We look forward to welcoming the first new cinema to the town in over 80 years. The brand new, state-of-the-art, eight-screen cinema in the Kyle Centre will bring blockbuster movies, live cinema events and films for all the family.
“It also means that residents will not have to travel elsewhere to see a wide variety of new films, and it will be a big draw for visitors, which I am sure will delight the town’s traders.
“Our goal is to increase the profile of the town centre and entice people back to the area. This project, together with our new Leisure Centre, will ultimately create significant new job opportunities in our community which I’m sure will also come as welcome news to our residents.”
Following the deal with The Arc Cinema, and on-going discussions with complimentary leisure operators advancing, it is anticipated that construction will begin in 2023.