THE £30MILLION project to renovate Bell Court has reached the halfway point.
Developers UK & European Investments recently held a topping out ceremony to mark the final steel beam being put on the four screen Everyman cinema.
The construction of the cinema follows completion of all demolition work – including the former Somerfield and Birthdays stores.
In addition to the cinema, developers have also signed a deal with Byron that will see a specialist hamburger restaurant opening at the new-look centre.
And this week contractors Buckingham Group Contracting began work on the internal floors, which is set to be followed by the installation of external cladding next month.
The cinema will be completed and handed over to Everyman for internal fittings and fixtures in December with the area expected to be fully open to the public next spring.
John Stacey, Asset Management Director at UK & European Investments, said: “The topping out of the cinema is an important milestone at Bell Court as it marks the halfway point in our construction programme.
“With the steel framework now completed, people can really start to get a feel of what we’re delivering at Bell Court.
“As well as housing the four screen Everyman cinema, this building will also be home to three ground floor units, including a new Byron restaurant with seating for around 170 diners that will overlook the central square at Bell Court.
“We have also started work on upgrading the entrances and frontages to the buildings we’ve retained at Bell Court. This will be done in a staged approach across the next few months ahead of starting work on new internal layouts.”
Discussions with other potential occupiers are ongoing while there are also plans to enhance the public area – including outdoor seating, landscaping, along with the introduction of a public open space for events and outdoor entertainment.
UK & European, acting as investment manager, owns the lease to Bell Court – two thirds of which is owned by Stratford District Council and one third by Stratford Town Trust.