A COMPULSORY purchase order was made on Friday to enable the development of a £100m ‘cultural quarter’ in Ealing Broadway.
The CPO area includes the site of the former Empire Cinema, which closed in 2008, a neighbouring office building, bar and other properties on the boundary of the site.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, which made the order, said: “We have a development partner, a cinema operator and the necessary permissions to make this scheme a reality.
“What we don’t have is all the land to deliver the council’s vision for the cultural quarter.
“While we would have preferred not to make a CPO, the people of Ealing have been waiting for a cinema for six years now.
“This area needs to be improved. And, after all the delays, we want to ensure this comprehensive scheme and the benefits it brings will be delivered.
“Ealing is world-famous for its film studios and we are keen to build on our proud film heritage by bringing back a cinema as part of this exciting cultural development."
The scheme will ensure the long-anticipated regeneration of a large section of the town centre.
It brings together a mix of cultural attractions, including a cinema and performance space, restaurants, shops and homes. It will also enable the creation of a more open, visitor-friendly town centre that links New Broadway, Bond Street and Walpole Park. Altogether, the plans will create approx 350 new jobs.
Although the CPO process is likely to take several months, the scheme – once confirmed - is still expected to be complete by 2018, in time for Crossrail, which makes Ealing more accessible from other parts of the capital.
Land Securities announced last week that Picturehouse Cinemas has been selected as the cinema operator for the development and will open an eight-screen arthouse cinema at the site in late 2017.