Major restaurants secured for centre

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A multi-million redevelopment of a Northumberland shopping centre is gathering pace as two national restaurant brands are announced.

Developers Hammerson has revealed that Prezzo and Frankie & Benny’s are the latest brands set to come to Manor Walks Shopping and Leisure in Cramlington as part of the investment in the town centre.

The arrival of Prezzo will see the national chain open its first restaurant in the north east, and the new Frankie & Benny’s will be a first for Northumberland.

The redevelopment of the Manor Walks complex will house Northumberland’s only multiplex cinema and a range of family restaurants, which are due to open in summer 2013.

The centre will also benefit from improvements to the South Mall and increased car parking facilities.

As the latest announcements to join Manor Walks’ enhanced retail and leisure offering, the new 100-seat Prezzo restaurant will occupy 3,500 sq ft.

The New York Italian restaurant and bar Frankie & Benny’s, which will seat 202 diners and will offer al fresco dining, will take a 4,000 sq ft unit.

The announcement of the new restaurant signings coincide with Vue Cinema taking possession of its 28,000 sq ft space within the new complex to undertake the specialist fitting and installation of the nine screen cinema, featuring Sony 4k projection, 3D technology, VIP seating and super-sized screens.

James Rowbotham, development manager for Hammerson, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured two such high profile restaurant names for Manor Walks, both of which are a first for Northumberland.

“Frankie & Benny’s and Prezzo are both popular brands, which in addition to the upcoming launch of Vue Cinema and the existing customer offer, will allow Manor Walks to provide an enjoyable place to visit for people of all ages, while ensuring that the town remains open and vibrant in to the evening.”

Manor Walks general manager Bruno Coppola added: “Excitement surrounding the arrival of the new Vue Cinema complex at Manor Walks is certainly gaining momentum.

“As the development of the new leisure anchor moves into its final stages, I am confident that we have created a new and exciting customer experience that will help place Cramlington firmly on the map as a major retail and leisure destination.

“The launch of Northumberland’s only multiplex cinema complemented by a selection of quality family restaurants will encourage increased visitors to the town from the wider north east community which help strengthen our local economy.”

A further phase, including a pre-let to Marks & Spencer Simply Food, will commence construction this year and open towards the end of 2013.

In April, pupils from Beaconhill Primary School buried a time capsule filled with school memorabilia under the new Vue Cinema site which will remain buried for 25 years when it will then be dug up by future pupils.