THE former Regal Cinema building in Ormskirk is to be modified as part of proposed plans for a new development in Church Street.
The proposal aims to provide shops, a café/restaurant and student accommodation including student amenities.
A design and access statement for the development states: “The scheme aims to improve the visual appearance of the existing building and will have an active frontage to both Church street and the lower-level car park.
“The upper floors will provide quality student accommodation within the town centre for university students. The students will benefit from the town-centre location and amenities, whilst also increasing the footfall within the town centre and boosting the local economy.”
Last year, the borough council approved plans, submitted by Stockton Properties, to demolish the cinema and adjacent buildings and build a development to contain 91 student flats.
At the time, the development had proved to be controversial, and the council received 139 letters of objection. They believed the building would lead to Ormskirk losing its heritage.
The client has now gone back to a scheme ‘to retain the building due to the current volatile global and local economic climate.’
The new application will see the ‘partial demolition and extension of the existing building to construct a 4/5 storey mixed use development comprising of ground floor retail unit, café/restaurant, student accommodation (66 bed) and private student gym.’
The Regal Cinema opened in 1936 and then closed in 1963. Since then it has been a bingo hall for a short period, and was converted into a Tesco’s Supermarket in about 1965.
Poundstretcher was its most recent occupant and they left the premises in 2019.