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Long-term threat to only cinema in Chester

ANOTHER threat has emerged to Chester’s only cinema.

Cineworld has already announced its cinema at Greyhound Retail Park will close if planning permission is granted for an 11-screen Cineworld at Broughton Shopping Park.

Now council regeneration expert Chris Morland is warning Chester Cineworld could be converted into a fashion outlet.

Mr Morland, working for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), has been considering the impact of a planned supermarket at the Greyhound Park on the proposed city centre Northgate Development which he is tasked with delivering.

He understands Land Securities’ superstore plan – which involves buying land from CWaC – makes it more likely neighbouring stores could be converted into fashion outlets which could draw retailers away from the Northgate scheme.

Mr Morland warned regeneration director Charlie Seward by email: “In terms of the main area of risk this is the block comprising DFS, Furniture Land, CSL and Mega Bowl and the separate Cineworld building. All within Land Securities ownership.”

However, research by consultant DTZ, on which Mr Morland is basing his views, concludes it is unlikely fashion retailers already represented at Broughton Shopping Park or Cheshire Oaks would want outlets at the Greyhound Park as well.

Research indicates the park is more likely to become homeware-led especially because current operators already include Next at Home, Wren Kitchens and John Lewis at Home.

Cineworld declined to comment.

The Northgate Development retail scheme is likely to feature a multiplex cinema if it is ever built and one features in current plans still being pursued by ING despite the council ditching the finance company as its development partner.