St George will pick up the redevelopment of the former Empire Cinema site on Ealing Broadway from Land Securities.
The Filmworks development on the former Empire cinema site, which has been a Land Securities project since the council forced Empire Cinema to give up their scheme, will be completed by Berkeley’s St George.
What the council hopes will become a new £100m cultural quarter has consent for plans including an eight-screen, 1,000-seat Picturehouse cinema, 161 homes, and 75,000 sq ft of retail space. It will also enable the creation of a public square and a new link between New Broadway, Bond Street, Ealing Green and Walpole Park.
The site was secured by a compulsory purchase order and includes the former Empire Cinema which closed in 2008, a neighbouring office building, bar and other properties on the boundary of the site. The Art Deco façade of the old cinema will be preserved as part of the new development.
The site was prepared for development by Land Securities, Ealing Council’s development partner, who won detailed planning consent for the scheme in 2015. It will now be realised by St George – a part of Berkeley Group – which is itself nearing completion of the Dickens Yard development across the Broadway.
Council leader Julian Bell said: “This brings us a significant step closer to the cinema’s return to Ealing. The Filmworks scheme is a fantastic opportunity to revitalise a large part of Ealing town centre to create a cultural quarter, more jobs and new homes.”
Riccardo Mai, head of development management at Land Securities, said: “Land Securities is proud of the work we have done to facilitate development of the Filmworks project and bring a cinema back to Ealing. We are delighted to have now secured an agreement with St George, a company with unquestionable track record of delivering major developments.”
Michael Bryn-Jones, managing director of St George, said: “We are delighted to continue our investment in Ealing with the acquisition of Ealing Filmworks. It will complement the success of Dickens Yard by delivering a much wanted cinema, fantastic new shops and restaurants in the heart of Ealing town centre, as well as high quality homes.”