|MP Keeps The Pressure on Empire|
But there's still no start date for the cinema redevelopment
The Ealing Central and Acton MP has met the boss of Empire Cinemas to find out why building work has still not started on the site.
It's been a derelict eyesore for over two years and thousands of people have signed a petition urging the company to get on with the project.
Angie Bray MP asked Justin Ribbons, CEO of Empire Cinemas why the old site had been allowed to languish for so long and when the company plan on building the promised new multiplex cinema.
She says Mr Ribbons was very positive and said Empire is 'committed to delivering one of the best cinemas in the country in Ealing'.
He said that, if all goes to plan, building work could begin before the end of the year.
In February 2011 Empire told Ealing Today that they were hoping to start work 'as soon as possible'.
Mr Ribbons told Ms Bray that it is essential that the Council sign off on minor changes to the plans before work can start.
After the meeting Angie said:
''The simple message that I hope I got across was that it is ridiculous, as well as unacceptable, that Ealing, of all places, with its history of film, should still be without a cinema.
''It seems we may have to do a bit of banging of heads together – Empire and the Council – but if that’s what it takes, then so be it. I have another meeting with Empire in September to chart progress, and I have made it as clear as I can that I really do expect there to have been some progress.''
But Ealing Council has refuted suggestions that it is in any way to blame for the delay.
Council Leader Julian Bell said: '' Angie Bray has been naive listening to the lame excuses of Empire for not getting on with the work.
''Ealing's regeneration officers have bent over backwards to get this cinema built. We have found Empire consistently difficult to contact and to deal with.
''If Empire cannot get on with this development - for whatever reason - it's time they came clean and sold it to another cinema developer.'''
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15th June 2011