THE name of Yate’s long-awaited cinema development has been announced.

The Gazette can reveal the new leisure complex to be built on Link Road will be called Yate Riverside.

The £12million development will include a six-screen cinema operated by Cineworld.

There will also be seven restaurants and cafes and three retail units. Operators for some of the units are due to be announced soon and are expected to include several high profile and well known High Street brands.

Andrew Lowrey, Yate Shopping Centre manager, said although planning permission was approved by South Gloucestershire Council in May and Cineworld had confirmed it will run the cinema, other leases were still being signed by operators.

“It has long been rumoured that Cineworld will be the anchor tenant,” he said. “Now that we have cleared the planning process, and the period for any legal challenge has expired, we can start building works.

“Although some preparatory works have started, we don’t envisage major construction work starting until early next year.

“There is always a time lag after any planning permission is granted as typically operators hold back on committing until there is certainty about the development. We will be announcing the other High Street names taking space over the next few months”.

The cinema scheme is an extension of Yate Shopping Centre and is being funded by its owners Crestbridge. It will be built on land next to the centre’s overflow car park on Link Road and the works have had to allow for a badgers’ sett to be relocated under strict Natural England guidelines.

Mark Hull, group property controller at Crestbridge, said Yate Riverside would attract more national operators to the town and transform the town’s night-time economy to firmly put Yate onto the map.

He said this week: “Having secured Cineworld and following the huge success of the recent retail development in the town centre we are talking to a number of national fashion chains and leading food brands about taking space in the new scheme.”

Cineworld property acquisitions manager Jenny Lee said: "Yate’s growing population and the transformation of the town’s retail and leisure offer means that this is a great new location for Cineworld and we are looking forward to opening next year.

“The Yate Riverside development will enable us to provide more choice for our customers and meet high demand for modern leisure destinations across the region."

The development follows a 10-year campaign for a cinema in Yate led by Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb.

He said: “I’m delighted that the plans for the cinema complex have taken another step forward.

“After years of campaigning we are nearing the finishing line, and I look forward to joining other local residents in seeing films locally, hopefully by the end of next year.”

Cllr Ruth Davis (Lib Dem, Yate Central), who fought for the cinema development after the council initially deferred the scheme, said: “Many shopping centre owners have told me they will try to get a cinema but nothing has ever come of it. Today Crestbridge are delivering and I know that local councillors and residents are absolutely thrilled that things are moving forward.

“With the proposed expansion in housing, Yate needs to be a centre on its own and not reliant on Bristol and other shopping centres.”

Mr Lowrey said the cinema development had resulted in a rise in interest from retailers in Yate Shopping Centre.

“The retail industry has reacted enthusiastically with some very significant enquiries from potential new operators looking to take space in the existing centre," he said.

“As always when new tenants want to come to Yate Shopping Centre, we have to identify suitable units and that might include some juggling and changes but we are confident that we will be announcing exciting new tenants in the autumn.”