Building of a brand new 10-screen cinema complex in Basildon town centre is now underway.

Today, the building phase for the East Square 10-screen cinema and restaurants project kicked off with a rig being brought in to work on the foundations of the new building.

The rig will carry out piling works to dig holes which will be filled with concrete to form these foundations.

A new contract for the construction of the East Square cinema and restaurants project was awarded to McLaren Construction at the beginning of this year and today, following demolition and site preparation, building has finally started.

Leader of Basildon Council Gavin Callaghan said: “I would like to thank McLaren for maintaining the build programme to enable this milestone to take place given the unprecedented challenges facing all of us at this time. Despite the obvious challenge that Coronavirus is playing with the operational delivery of services, the council is working with our contractors and partners to ensure we keep the show on the road and projects moving forward. This is a key priority for the Administration.

“Today marks a very special day in the reimagining of Basildon town centre.

“It is being rebuilt and the cinema scheme is a major part of that plan. Throughout this year residents will see lots of activity around the town centre as our regeneration programme really starts to take shape. This is an exciting time for Basildon.”

Jay Newman, Managing Director South at McLaren, said: “We are excited and proud to be associated with Basildon Council’s plans to create East Square, which promises to be a flagship project for the town. The design of the cinema in particular will bring a new dimension to the area.

“Its accessible location means people will be able to enjoy a great new leisure destination, benefitting both local communities and local businesses.

“Our can-do attitude has enabled us to mobilise quickly to get on site to build this fantastic new development.”   

The project is expected to be complete by spring 2021.