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'No takers for town centre cinema idea'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 08, 2012

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LISKEARD'S mayor reassured residents that attempts had been made to bring a cinema into the town centre, following news that a national chain hoped to build on land near the Premier Inn.

A proposal for a cinema and associated amenities, such as a Frankie and Benny's restaurant, are being drawn up for Tencreek Farm on the outskirts of town.

Speaking at Liskeard Town Forum, resident Mike Hasshill asked if the council had investigated the possibility of converting the empty former Eurospar on Pondbridge Hill.

He said it was in the middle of town, with a car park close by.

Town councillor Lori Reid said in response: "Since I've been part of the planning on Liskeard Town Council I've actually realised it's so easy for people to say 'Oh there's a building there, why can't we put something in it?'

"But we don't own it. Buildings cost a lot of money and the owners might not want you to put it there.

"Approaches are always being made. We don't sit still on the town council."

Mayor Tony Powell said the council had spent the past 15 years exhausting conversations with developers on every potential site in Liskeard.

"It doesn't work independently to come in and invest in something," he said.

"The only way it could work is on the back of a bigger development somewhere, as a bonus."

Mr Powell said none of the local or national cinema providers had expressed any interest in opening up in the town centre.

"They just don't believe there's the footfall, or appropriate location, with the associated parking that would be needed," he said.

"That's just their opinion. It's not for want of trying. No one has ever taken the bait and we don't have any funds to throw in the water for them. It has to be a project that works financially."

Councillors hope a JD Wetherspoon pub on the derelict Taylor's Garage site will boost footfall in the town centre, as well as a planned pannier market on the cattle market, which could potentially go ahead if the post office relocated its sorting office to Tencreek.

The successful Portas Pilot bid also included proposed evening events to bring residents into the town at night and help to regenerate Liskeard's centre.

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