Could The Ridings Shopping Centre cinema hold key to revamping city?

Plans: The new cinema was expected to open in May.
Plans: The new cinema was expected to open in May.

Work is continuing on a new cinema in the Ridings.

The five-screen Reel Cinema, which will be situated on the upper floor of the shopping centre, was originally scheduled to open in May this year.

The company has applied for an alcohol licence for the venue as the development reaches its next stage.

The public can comment on the licence application until. June 28.

The shopping centre has not yet officially confirmed the expected opening date for the cinema.

This year the Express asked readers what they wanted to see in Wakefield in our city centre survey.

Among the hundreds of responses submitted, many readers said they wanted to see more entertainment – especially an ice rink and bowling alley.

A third of people who responded said they wanted entertainment to replace large empty unit, such as the former BHS on the precinct.

A further third said a mixture of shops and leisure would be best for the city.

Retail expert Bill Grimsey – the former boss of Wickes and Iceland who wrote two major reports on the future of UK high streets – said city centres needed to adapt and make a 30-year plan to survive.

He said that councils need to embrace digital technology in city centres to create a modern and entertaining experience for shoppers.