Wirral Council’s plans for £7m cinema site

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Vue Cinema. Pic © Lucy Jones JMU Journalism

Wirral Council has decided to approve plans to buy Vue Cinema for £7.1m, as part of its wider investment in sites around Europa Boulevard.

The seven-screen cinema in Birkenhead has become a part of a wider regeneration scheme to help the struggling town transform into a place that “people can talk about”.

These plans also include a completely new purpose-built market, with the current one expected to be demolished, and other proposals such as a new leisure centre, offices, cafés and luxury homes.

The council claims this will generate thousands more new jobs, with a positive impact on Birkenhead being the end goal.

Labour Councillor Angela Davies told JMU Journalism: “I am so excited. You cannot stand still; you have to look into the future. We have not bought the Vue Cinema to close it down and sell it to make a profit; we are making it into a cinema and leisure place that people want.

YouTube: Lucy Jones

“I think about my grandchildren. I want there to be nice homes for them to live in and plenty of jobs for them to have and nice places for them to go. This regeneration will help increase the population of the area, both working and living.”

The aim is to link with various Wirral companies such as Muse to help improve various places on the Peninsular.

The council says the money used to buy the cinema is with loans only available to authorities such as themselves. It is only to be used for capital projects and cannot be used to fund services. Officials hope this investment will help generate revenue, pay for services, and replace funding lost by the government’s austerity measures.

Other projects the council is looking at spending money on include schemes Liscard, Bromborough and finishing New Brighton’s redevelopment, where it spent a staggering £60m.

Vue was founded in the UK following the acquisition of Warner Village Cinemas in 2003, and is part of the largest cinema group in Europe, Vue International.