Plans for the redevelopment of Aspects Leisure Park, which will create up to 60 new jobs, were unanimously approved by Bedford Borough Council planners this week.
The £3 million facelift, to start this June and complete in 2015, will provide more choice and a better quality leisure experience for Bedford residents, say the developers.
Included in the plans, approved by the planning committee on Monday, January 27, are the extension and refurbishment of the existing Cineworld cinema to bring it up to a state-of-the -rt venue, together with more choice of restaurants and improvements to the appearance of the leisure park to make more of its riverside location and connection to Priory Park.
The extension to the cinema will keep seat numbers the same but provide more choice by increasing screens from 6 to 9; including a 3D option and provide better visibility and more luxurious stadium seating.
More choice for eating out will also be offered with three new restaurant units and riverside seating.
The application followed positive feedback from the public exhibition, held on October 22 and popular features such as the existing trees, cycle and footpaths as well as free parking will all be retained.
The redevelopment will also bring approximately 50 to 60 new jobs to Bedford and will encourage leisure time and spending to stay in Bedford.
The former laser venue will be demolished to create the extension for the cinema.
The existing vacant theme bar will be converted into two restaurant units and an additional restaurant unit created alongside to provide a choice of family friendly eateries.
The construction will be focused in the western and south western parts of the complex which will avoid disruption to the Pizza Hut restaurant, Club 2000 Bingo and Fitness First gym.
The proposals were submitted on behalf of Aspects Leisure Limited which is part of the Fordgate Group, a family owned property business established since 1986.