Ealing Filmworks will occupy the derelict site of the former Empire cinema site opposite the Town Hall on New Broadway, along with14-16 Bond Street, Walpole House and Flava’s Bar on Mattock Lane.
The proposed scheme aims to open up the site, creating new pedestrianised routes between Walpole Park, New Broadway and Bond Street.
Land Securities hope Ealing Filmworks will generate around 350 new jobs, with additional jobs during the two-year construction period. They want the site’s regeneration to support the local daytime and evening economy by attracting additional footfall and trade to the town centre.
The plans, which represent an investment of around £100 million, include a multi-screen cinema; commercial units for shops, restaurants, bars and cafés; a gallery/community space; up to 161 new homes; an outdoor screen; and a flexible performance area with amphitheatre-style seating.
Empire Cinemas have been involved in a long-running planning battle with Ealing Council over the site, with the result being the site has been stalled for years. The council gave Empire Cinemas a deadline of October 2012 to start work on its scheme to replace the cinema it closed in 2008 or face a Compulsory Purchase Order. In December 2012, Ealing Council selected Land Securities as its preferred development partner.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “We hope agreement can be reached for Land Securities to acquire the sites but if there isn’t we are fully prepared to use our CPO powers.”
Land Securities will now progress the detailed design of the proposals and, if required, the CPO, before beginning construction. The cinema could open in late 2017 with the development completed by 2018.