Manchester

Barons Quay: Northwich cinema opens in £80m regeneration scheme

Barons Quay development
Image caption Barons Quay development

The first part of an £80m regeneration scheme has opened to the public.

The Odeon cinema will soon be joined by restaurants, bars and shops in the Barons Quay development in Northwich, said Cheshire West and Chester Council.

About 1,400 jobs are being created as a result of the regeneration project.

The development is built on the site of abandoned salt mines, which were filled in with grout to prevent their collapse. This stabilisation work in 2007 cost £32m.

Brian Clarke from Cheshire West and Chester Council said the development would "bring a life back into Northwich which has sadly been missing for quite a few years".

"The cinema is a catalyst for the evening economy that we are looking for in Northwich," he added.

A supermarket and multi-storey car park are already open there, with retail units and new public spaces still under construction.

The council took over as the developer for the Barons Quay scheme in July 2013 after an agreement with a private developer was terminated in 2008 when the plans were "put on hold" due to the recession.

Proposals for a hotel and apartments as part of the project were scrapped in March after council officials concluded it was "not the appropriate location".