Developer: Cinema WILL be built at Dolphin Square

PUBLISHED: 13:31 10 June 2014

An artist's impression of what the site would look like when developed.

An artist's impression of what the site would look like when developed.

Archant

developers behind Weston’s £50million Dolphin Square revamp say key partner Cineworld remains ‘fully committed’ to the project.

The Mercury reported last week how a fresh delay means building work will not begin until September, prompting North Somerset councillor Mike Bell to voice fears for the scheme’s future.

However, this week developer McLaren Life told the Mercury the cinema chain has spent a decade planning for a Weston expansion, and has proven its commitment by investing ‘significantly’ in its Dolphin Square plans.

A spokesman said: “Cineworld has confirmed to us that they are fully committed to the scheme and to continuing to work with us to assist in the start of the development and seeing it through to completion and opening in late 2015.”

McLaren Life also dismissed speculation over the commitment of other partner firms and hit back at criticism of the site’s current appearance.

The spokesman said: “Councillor Bell says he was told at the meeting with McLaren Life that restaurant Real China had pulled out. This is untrue and Real China is still legally signed to the scheme, although we are in negotiations with them to move them from phase four to phase three.

“We also dispute Councillor Bell’s likening the current site as a ‘bomb site’ and his saying this will do nothing to help local traders.

“McLaren Life has put up hoardings that incorporate signage to help local traders and attractions. These signs were designed in consultation with the local traders and until this week there have been no calls or requests for additional signage.”

He continued: “McLaren Life has already invested in excess of £20million into the Dolphin Square site through the development of the first two phases and by securing a detailed planning permission, and demolishing the dangerous concrete structure of the old Dolphin Square.

“McLaren Life is fully committed to making the further investment necessary to deliver the final phases of the redevelopment at the earliest commercially viable opportunity and their previous investment has made this possible for the new development to proceed on this basis.

“The final hurdles are currently being addressed for an anticipated start on site at the end of September.

“McLaren Life and many others in the town are working hard to attract a serious level of investment into the town.”

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