WORK to complete a new £6.5million eight-screen cinema in East Lancashire is speeding up for its opening in November.

Reel Cinemas hope to take over the completed building in Blakey Moor Blackburn at the end of next month.

This will give it time to fit out the interior for opening in time for several Christmas blockbuster films.

It had been hoped work would be finished in time for Easter but due to the coronavirus crisis, progress was severely delayed.

Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: "This is great news."

Muhammad Faisal, Reel Cinemas head of operations said: “ We’re expecting to take the site from the main contractor at the end of August which should give our team a clear run to fit out the internal cinema in time for us to open in late November.

“ There are eight screens to build in total, two of which will be our premium offering. The team will also be creating our foyer area and our concession offerings of Cream and Cones and the Sweet Barrel.

“There’s a lot of work to do, but our recent experiences in Rochdale, Chorley and Burnley put us in a great place to be ready in time for Christmas movies such as Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story, Top Gun Maverick and Dune - not forgetting James Bond: No Time to Die in mid-November

“ Clearly cinema has been hit like most industries but at Reel we’re not letting it hold us back from our commitment to open new sites. We believe that the people of Lancashire are ready to step out to the cinema again and we’ve put in place procedures to make sure it’s safe to do so."