Developers promising a Christmas present for the town centre have revealed the latest plans for a £19million town centre leisure scheme.

Ask Real Estate has revealed the latest designs for a cinema and restaurant development on the Churchill Way car park.

They include a seven screen cinema and eight units for cafes, restaurants and bars.

Bosses promise the scheme will bring prosperity to Macclesfield this New Year, with the creation of new jobs and a £19million investment in the town centre.

It promises to boost the local economy by stopping people leaving Macclesfield to go elsewhere to places like Manchester for entertainment.

Bosses are running a consultation on the plans ahead of a planning application in the new year.

The application will be welcome news to residents who are keen to see town centre regeneration happen after the previous Silk Street proposals collapsed after 10 years of planning.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “A new cinema and restaurant development would significantly enhance the town centre offer and we are pleased to see the proposal moving to the consultation stage, prior to the planning process.

“The Ask development is one of a number of schemes which, when combined, represent more than £30m of investment in Macclesfield, including a £1m plus public realm programme, expansion plans for the Grosvenor Centre by Eskmuir, the shop front grant scheme to update the retail experience for shoppers and a number of other schemes designed to enhance the town-centre experience for residents and visitors. As we have stated previously, the council is fully committed to the long-term regeneration of Macclesfield and I hope to see all these schemes come to fruition in the near future to help deliver on our promise to deliver a town centre of which the people of Macclesfield can be truly proud.”

However representatives of Make It Macclesfield, say they still have concerns about the scheme.

In a response to the consultation, they said the new designs look ‘unattractive’ and ‘much more generic’ than originally suggested.

Plans for cinema leisure scheme in Macclesfield by Ask Real Estate - Water Street looking north

It read: “The MIM Board was disappointed by both the design of the scheme and the aesthetics illustrated in the new concept presentations.

“The modified scheme seems to be much more generic than the original proposals that used the topography of the site more imaginatively. A lack of engagement on provision for use of the open space is also disappointing.

“Based on the artist’s impression, Water Street residents will face the rear of the development, which in the drawings looks like unattractive industrial warehousing. These residents will also suffer disturbance from the construction and will face ongoing parking issues relating to their proximity to the cinema.”

In the plans, the cinema and the majority of the buildings will be single-storey to minimise the impact on residents and bring the scheme down in height from the previous Silk Street scheme.

There will be a courtyard and landscaped green space but no parking to replace the 275 spaces being lost at Churchill Way.

Around 500 people attended two public consultation events on the plans this month.

MP David Rutley attended a meeting with Leon Guyett of Ask Real Estate and Jon Suckley from How Planning to pass on comments and concerns.

He said: “These proposals are an important part of the wider strategy to deliver the regeneration of Macclesfield town centre that residents want and deserve, which is being taken forward by Cheshire East Council. I would encourage more residents and businesses to have their say on this important part of the future regeneration plans, and I will continue to stay close to these vital issues going forward.”

The consultation ends at 5pm today (Wednesday, December 20), to comment. Email

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