REEL Cinema has signed as anchor tenant for the £26million Pioneer Place leisure and retail scheme in Burnley town centre.

Burnley Council, owners of Pioneer Place, has announced that the scheme has received a significant boost, having signed agreements with Reel to bring an eight-screen cinema complex to the Pioneer Place development, which will also include a restaurant plaza, shops and 125-space car park.

The complex will also have space for seven restaurant units and two shops.

K C Suri, owner of Reel Cinema, said: “We are very pleased to announce that we have signed an agreement to open an anchor cinema at Pioneer Place.

“Burnley is a good location for us, with a thriving local economy. With its modern design, Pioneer Place will be a great addition to Burnley town centre attracting more visitors and creating a dynamic leisure environment."

Burnley Council leader Cllr Charlie Briggs said: “It’s great that we have announced Reel as anchor for the Pioneer Place development. The signing will give other restaurant and leisure chains the confidence to invest in this exciting scheme.

"We’ve already had initial talks with some of the leading restaurant chains and the signing of Reel as anchor tenant should provide them with the confidence to commit.

“With the growth of the University of Central Lancashire in Burnley and the student population in Burnley set to grow ten-fold to 4,000 in the next four years, this new cinema and leisure offer will be great for the new students and a boost to Burnley’s growing university town status.

“This development will also be a major jobs boost for Burnley with the site once complete set to create over 300 jobs, as well as the many construction jobs which will be created in the development of the project.

“Burnley town centre has attracted a number of new businesses in the last 18 months including Primark, Easy Coffee, Quick Crepes, Millie’s Cookies, Carnivoro Brazilian restaurant, and The Corkhouse wine shop & bar.

“A recent report by independent experts said Burnley is ‘punching above its weight’ in terms of maintaining and growing the number of shops. The Pioneer Place development will further establish Burnley as the leading shopping and leisure destination in East Lancashire.”

The council’s executive member for economy, Cllr Gordon Birtwistle, added: “Burnley town centre is a thriving centre which we support with a calendar of events. Burnley’s Summer Garden Party saw footfall increase by over 25 per cent, the Burnley Literary Festival attracted over 5 per cent increase in footfall and Burnley’s Christmas Party brought a 16.3 per cent increase in footfall to the town centre.”

Pioneer Place is being developed by Burnley Council in partnership with developers Maple Grove Developments.