Basildon Vue cinema £3 million cash investment defended

If approved by councillors tomorrow night, the council will give £3 million in stages to Vue which will go towards “fitting out” the ten-screen cinema, while the firm covers the rest of the cost to get it up and running.

Initially, £750,000 would be paid to Vue upon signing a 20-year lease. The chain will then receive three more payments during its work before a final £300,000 payment would be paid 10 days after the cinema opens.

Craig Rimmer, councillor responsible for economic stimulus and tourism, has defended the pledge to stump up the cash as “an investment for the town”.

Meanwhile, council leader Andrew Baggott added: “This will kick start the economic regeneration of Basildon, providing entertainment and night-time activity in the heart of our town centre.”

In the report seen by the Echo, it says total fit-out costs will be “in excess” of the £3 million, so Vue would therefore be putting in “a considerable amount” of its own money.

As part of the deal, Basildon Council stands to gain £400,000 a year in rent and £300,000 in business rates, as well a slice of the the cinema’s profits, according to Mr Rimmer. 

Mr Rimmer said: “The fact is, there will be more than £700,000 coming from the cinema.

“On top of that, there are still three restaurants to be filled, which will mean extra rates for the town.

“With the rent, we’ve got a turnover clause which means we will get a percentage of the turnover above a certain amount.”

While Mr Rimmer was unable to comment on the specifics of the turnover the council is set to receive, the report states it will get 15 per cent of all turnover above £3.5 million.

Last summer, Basildon Council began the marketing process to secure a new operator for the cinema at East Square, with all the leading cinema operators in the UK invited to submit an offer.  Several registered their interest before the council was recommended to accept a final offer from Vue Entertainment Ltd.

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