Exciting plans for Kingsmead taking shape

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This is the latest artist’s impression of the Canterbury Riverside scheme which will transform the Kingsmead area of the city.

A six-screen cinema, restaurants, public square, homes and student accommodation are all planned for the 23-acre site which is currently home to a former coach park and a disused Serco depot.

Canterbury City Council is working with developer Linkcity on the project and both are confident the first elements of the scheme will be ready by the end of the decade. In the coming weeks, Linkcity will submit a planning application.

The council’s Head of Business and Regeneration, Caroline Hicks, said: “This is a key site in the city’s regeneration and is the largest single area in Canterbury that is still to be developed. It is crying out to be transformed into an area providing homes, entertainment and jobs.

“We have been working extremely hard behind the scenes with Linkcity and we are all excited to be making such good progress.

“Part of that work has involved listening to the views of those living nearby and making changes to our plans as a consequence.”

The wide mix of uses earmarked for the site are in line with those suggested by residents in the 2004 Kingsmead development brief, which included a cinema, housing, open space, a performance venue and a bowling alley.

Since then, elements of that brief have been completed such as housing at Kingsbrook Park, money from the sale of which helped to fund the new Marlowe Theatre.

In addition, Riverside Children’s Centre has been built and the majority of Kingsmead Field has been designated as public open space.

Caroline added: “We know there is lots of public support for this project. Every time we have consulted there has been enthusiasm for the new cinema and restaurants in particular. The vision we had for Kingsmead is getting much closer and we’re sure local people are excited about these plans.”

To keep up-to-date on the project, go to www.canterburyriverside.co.uk.