A MULTI-MILLION pound leisure development in Burnley town centre has edged closer as councillors gave the scheme the green light.

The Pioneer Place development will see a multi-screen cinema, seven food units and two shops, plus a 125-space car park on the site off Curzon Street and Pioneer Place.

Council leader Cllr Charlie Briggs said: “This development will be a great asset to the borough. “It will enhance Burnley as a destination for both day and night-time leisure.”

Burnley MP, Antony Higginbotham, believes the development will help put Burnley on the map as a destination for entertainment.

He said: “It is fantastic and is part of the regeneration of Burnley to transform it into a mixed use of leisure and retail space. It will increase footfall in the economy and area.

“This development will make people in surrounding areas think that Burnley is a place to have a full-day out.”

Reel chief operating officer Muhammad Faisal said: “Reel Cinemas are truly committed to providing a premium, affordable cinema-going experience to local communities.

“We’ve built a business model that relies neither on expensive tickets or inflated prices for popcorn, drinks and snacks.”

Last week, the Lancashire Telegraph reported council chiefs were hoping, if approved, the scheme would open the doors for big-name operators to take up units such as Nando’s.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cllr Briggs said he was leader of the authority when the idea was first mooted and he was ‘hoping to get it sorted this time around.’

He added: “We have had a considerable amount of people wanting to take it forward with some food chains such as Nando’s looking at it.”

K C Suri, owner of Reel Cinema, previously said: “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. Once upon a time a trip to the cinema was a regular part of a family’s leisure time, not just an occasional treat and at Reel we’re recreating that relationship with local people.”

The plans were approved by the development control committee at Burnley Town Hall on Thursday night.