A CINEMA giant has been announced as the second anchor tenant of Northwich’s regeneration.

ODEON Cinemas has been revealed as the operator of the digital five-screen multiplex which is a jewel in the crown of the multi-million pound Barons Quay scheme.

The UK’s largest cinema chain joins ASDA in the line-up for the redevelopment scheme, which will also see new shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, parks and a hotel being built between the River Weaver and Witton Street.

Clr Herbert Manley, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) executive member for growth and innovation, said: “I am delighted to confirm that we have finalised legal agreements with ODEON and are looking forward to welcoming them to Northwich in winter 2016/17.

“Today’s news – which comes hot on the heels of the Asda announcement – means that Barons Quay will boast two market-leading anchor tenants.

“The commitment of ODEON and ASDA to this exciting scheme will form a strong basis for ensuring a wide range of top quality retail and leisure offer is put in place.”

CWAC has also revealed that there will be seven restaurants in the £80million Barons Quay development with Tushingham Moore and Lambert Smith Hampton appointed to secure the next phase of occupiers.

The Barons Quay scheme, which includes 130,000 sq ft of retail space, is expected to create 1,600 jobs.

David Watson, Chairman of the Weaver Valley Partnership, said: “Not only will the ODEON cinema bring a new leisure dimension for local residents, it will also create jobs – especially for young people – as well as enhancing the tourism offer of the town.”

Northwich councillor Amy Mercer-Bailey said: “At last – the news that the people of Northwich have been waiting for.

“I am thrilled that Odeon is coming to Barons Quay.

“No longer will residents be forced to travel to Crewe or Ellesmere Port to see the latest blockbuster.

“Soon they will have a state-of-the-art cinema right on their doorstep.

“After spending too long in decline, Northwich is finally turning its fortunes around.

“Regeneration is happening and it is creating a town we can all be proud of.”