WORK is now under way on a long-awaited multi-million-pound regeneration project in Cramlington.
Planning permission was granted last year for a major redevelopment of Manor Walks shopping centre, and work began this week on the construction of the Vue multiplex cinema that will form the centrepiece of the new-look mall.
The bill for the building of the new nine-screen cinema – together with family restaurants, cafés and improved parking – is expected to run to tens of millions of pounds.
The building work is being carried out by Tolent Construction.
Craig Davison, project site manager at the Team Valley-based builder, said: “This is a prestigious development and requires the highest standards of workmanship.”
The South Mall car park is being remodelled to offer a 20 per cent increase in the number of spaces, and developer Hammerson has promised to ensure that a minimum of 100 spaces remain available throughout the construction period.
Parts of the car park will be reopened to the public in stages as work progresses.
Bruno Coppola, the shopping centre’s manager, added: “I am confident that Manor Walks will become a fantastic place for people of all ages to spend the day, and it will set the benchmark for future work at the centre.
“It will help to achieve a more cohesive town centre and a comprehensive evening leisure offer.”
The construction works now under way will take about 13 months to complete.
The cinema building will be finished by Christmas, but fitting it out and installing projectors and sound systems will take another five months or so, so an opening date in May next year is likely.
Anyone with questions about the regeneration can e-mail email@example.com or call 0800 652 3367.