Plans to demolish cinema and build three restaurants

Vue cinema and Frankie and Benny's at the Capitol Centre could be knocked down and replaced with retail units
Vue cinema and Frankie and Benny's at the Capitol Centre could be knocked down and replaced with retail units

Plans to flatten a popular cinema will go before South Ribble Council’s planning committee on March 11.

Royal London, which owns the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale near Lostock Hall, said demolition and redevelopment of the Vue building is a contingency plan, only if cinema bosses do not renew their tenancy.

It has also applied for neighbouring Frankie & Benny’s restaurant to potentially be pulled down, to replace the eatery and cinema with a new retail unit and three additional restaurants.

Gareth Evans, head of corporate affairs at Royal London, said: “The lease for the cinema is up in 2016 and if they don’t choose to renew, we have to have a contingency plan.

“We can’t have the possibility of an untennanted building.”

Mr Evans said the group was “neutral” on whether they would prefer the cinema to stay at the site.

A spokesman for Vue Entertainment said: “We are continuing to review our options to remain in Preston, whether this is in the city centre or our existing location.

“The cinema will not be closing in 2015.”

Because Frankie & Benny’s wants to stay at the site, a new restaurant pod, big enough for two units, would be built on the car park near to the existing McDonald’s.

A new security pod is also proposed in a bid to cut down on anti-social behaviour and thefts.