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Blunder-hit St Neots cinema opens doors

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The St Neots Cineworld, which was knocked down and rebuilt after it was built in the wrong place, has finally opened

Designed by Leicestershire-based JWA Architects, the six-screen cinema at the new multi-million pound Rowley Arts Centre, was initially scheduled to open in September last year.

But construction was halted in May 2013 after an external wall was found to be 80cm too close to neighbouring properties leading to the cinema’s steel frame being dismantled and rebuilt.

Further changes were made to the trouble-hit cinema scheme in July 2013 after an audit uncovered minor discrepancies between where elements of the complex were on the ground and where they were shown on plans.

Architect’s description

‘As a precursor to the large-scale redevelopment of Bury St. Edmunds’ old cattle market area, this leisure complex was constructed on the site of a former council car park. The development serves as an anchor point, linking the town centre via a new pedestrianised street featuring various retail and food offerings. Sloping by approximately 1.5m end-to-end, the site presented plenty of challenges in terms of satisfying access requirements within a limited space.

‘Incorporating five food outlets including Ask, KFC, Subway, Frankie & Benny’s and Tootsie’s, the Cineworld complex also boasts eight cinema auditoria, capitalising on the area’s increased footfall. An adjacent multi-storey car park was constructed to accommodate the increase in visitors.’

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