Irish Are Told 'Stop Messing Around' With Our Cinema

Council urge Government to step in with receivers

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The Irish Government is being told to step in and force the sale of Ealing's derelict Empire Cinema site.

The site has been beset with problems since Empire part demolished it nearly 5 years ago.

The rebuilding work ran into financial difficulties and was never progressed and the site is now being held by Allsops, receivers appointed by financial instititution the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Last October (2012) Ealing Council announced its intention to carry out a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and in December put together a consortium led by Land Securities to develop the site once the land had been acquired.

Initial proposals for The Film Quarter include a multiplex cinema and cafes, bars and restaurants linking New Broadway with Bond Street. A 'Cinema Square' will provide an event space with a giant video wall.

The receivers want Ealing Council to delay the CPO for another nine months to see if a speculative bidder will come along on the open market.

However, Ealing Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday (23rd April) decided enough is enough and has reconfirmed its intention to progress the CPO.

The council has made it clear that it will not halt the proceedings but would pay a fair market price for the site if Allsops won't deal with Land Securities direct.

Leader of the council, Julian Bell said: "We embarked on the CPO process to deliver a cinema for the people of Ealing. We won’t sit and look at a vacant site while Allsops try to find someone prepared to pay more than the site is worth.

“The Irish government should tell Allsops to stop messing around and come to the table. This will give the Irish taxpayer the best and quickest means to get their money back and Ealing residents the cinema they have been waiting too long for."

Cllr David Millican, Conservative Group Leader said:

"We are very supportive of the route that will enable us to get the cinema built as quickly as possible and with the least risk to Ealing taxpayers. At the end of the day, we need to be mindful that the Council is not a property developer and cannot shoulder the risk of a property or a private company. But we all want a cinema back on this site as soon as possible."




25th April 2013



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