Demolition begins at Harrogate’s Beales building

The plans for the new cinema complex at the former Beales site. (S)
The plans for the new cinema complex at the former Beales site. (S)

Demolition of the former Beales building is to begin within two week’s time to make way for a new £10m cinema complex.

Owners 4Urban have confirmed that workers are currently on site at the now empty Harrogate town centre department store.

And preparations are underway to demolish this landmark old building, built in the 1950s and home to the former Co-operative Society and Beales department store.

“We are on schedule to start demolition works on January 19 and hoardings are currently being put in place around the site,” said Paul Lancaster, managing director at 4Urban.

“Our contractor will be using the latest demolition techniques to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.”

Planning permission for the new £10m complex, to house a four-screen arthouse cinema along with nine restaurants or bars, was unanimously passed last September.

Owner 4Urban has refused to be drawn on rumours that Everyman cinema, which runs a branch at Trinity Leeds, has already signed a contract on the site.

But it has confirmed this week that lettings have been agreed with five occupiers, including the art-house cinema operator.

“We look forward to revealing the names over the coming weeks,” said Mr Lancaster.

“In the meantime, we are in negotiation with a number of other restaurant operators – all of whom will be new to Harrogate – and want to be part of this exciting new leisure hub.”

Once demolition is complete, the old 1950s Beales building on the corner of Station Parade, which shut its doors last September, is to be replaced by a new modern structure.

The new three-storey complex will house nine units with flexible permissions which could become bars, restaurants, shops or offices.

A new-art house cinema, showing everything from live opera to the latest box-office hit, will take up two-storeys, coming with its own first-floor restaurant and balcony bar.

It is hoped, say owners, that the new cinema will open towards Christmas 2015, while the restaurant and bar units may even be open by autumn next year.