Buyer steps in to save seafront site

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A SEAFRONT attraction is set to be restored to its former glory after a buyer stepped in to rescue it.

The Island complex, on St Annes Promenade, has fallen into disrepair since the plug was pulled on the three-screen cinema, bowling alley, amusement arcade and restaurant back in 2009.

But a state-of-the-art five-screen 3D cinema could be up and running in months after Paul Jervis – who leased the site’s cinema between 1999 and 2003 – stepped in to take over.

Mr Jervis, who already owns three cinemas across the country, said: “I plan on reopening the cinema in July and will introduce the latest digital technology and a fifth screen.

“It will be completely digital which will allow the introduction of 3D cinema in the future. Our experience in our other cinemas shows how popular the new technology is.”

Mr Jervis is also in talks to find new tenants for the arcade and restaurant and is hoping to speak to previous operators Stanley Leisure about the future of the site’s casino.

And the news has been hailed a massive boost to the seafront ahead of the summer holidays.

John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “It puts the future of the whole Promenade area on a really sound footing.

“There’s nothing worse than when people come to a seaside resort and see empty facilities on the Promenade. That was the final piece of the jigsaw for me and I think it’s really good news.”

Paul Rollings, chairman of the Holiday Association of Lytham St Annes (HALSA), said: ‘Speaking on behalf of the Halsa Members, we would welcome anyone who is willing to invest into re-opening the island complex as a leisure facility.

“The guests of my own hotel always used the cinema as it was so convenient, and were very disappointed when it closed.”

The cafe, giftshop and funfair are already open.

Paul Walker, Fylde Council’s Director of Strategic Development Services, added: “This will give the Promenade a real buzz.”