WORK is due to start in May on the ‘entertainments village’ at Highfield in the centre of Craigavon, including the long-awaited eight-screen Omniplex Cinema, five restaurants and a retail unit.
The building of the complex will create 100 construction jobs, and when the project is finished in January next year, there will be 150 full-time and part-time employees.
The developers are JH Turkington of Mahon Road, Portadown, and the 3.5 acre site is close to the Rushmere Centre, on the former car showroom of Irish Road Motors.
In a statement the letting agents, Osborne King, say it is the 12th Omniplex cinema in Northern Ireland, adding there is strong interest within the catering and hospitality industry for the restaurant units.
Mark King from Osborne King, who is handling the letting for the entertainments village, pointed out that Craigavon has an extensive catchment area serving around 182,000 people, “yet there is no locally-based cinema”.
He added, “People living in the area have to travel considerable distances to towns and cities such as Armagh, Banbridge, Newry and Lisburn if they want to go to the cinema. They will soon have this new amenity on their doorstep, which will boost the social and cultural life of the local community.”
Carole King of Omniplex commented, “We are delighted to be providing this eight-screen, fully digital cinema for Craigavon, our 12th such cinema in Northern Ireland - we have real confidence in the Northern Irish market.”
Mark Carron of Osborne King added, “We are especially pleased that the development is going ahead in these difficult economic times.
“It will create construction jobs, and the finished development will provide further employment and a welcome social amenity. We are talking to a number of restaurant operators who are interested in taking units and we would be interested in hearing from other interested parties as soon as possible.”