Rundown part of city becomes home to cinema and restaurants

Curzon Riverside site

The Leader of Canterbury City Council has welcomed the opening of the Curzon cinema on the site of a former waste depot.

The multiplex, which boasts a bar and pizzeria, is the anchor tenant at The Riverside in Kingsmead, Canterbury, and is set to open its doors to the public today (Friday 26 August).

Meanwhile, negotiations are well underway on each of the 12 other commercial units. One  tenant has confirmed and the legal agreements for the majority of the other units are almost ready to be signed.

Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding in front of The Riverside sign

Leader of Canterbury City Council Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding: “It is really exciting to see the council’s long-term vision taking shape during what has been a long journey involving an enormous amount of hard work, dedication and determination.

“I am incredibly proud of how the council has decided to transform this neglected and rundown part of the city.

“The Riverside has already created jobs and will result in the creation of many more, will deliver affordable housing and will generate income for the council through rents, parking revenue and a share of business rates which can all be used to pay for and invest in the vital frontline services everyone depends on while keeping Council Tax low.

“I just know the Curzon will be an incredible success and I look forward to watching many a blockbuster, eating and drinking there in the future.”

Curzon Riverside drinks and food lounge
Curzon Riverside lounge area

The student accommodation, which is part of a joint venture between student housing developer Uliving and Harrison Street, was completed some time ago.

Social landlord Hyde Housing is making very good progress on the residential part of the scheme which will result in 76 homes for social rent for families from the council’s waiting list with the remainder of the 190 destined for shared ownership.

Some work on the roads alongside the site will need to take place in the coming months and engineers are working on plans to minimise any disruption.

During the construction of The Riverside, our building contractor Bouygues made an enormous amount of effort to engage with the community, especially Parkside Community Primary School in Tennyson Avenue, Sturry.

The developer:

  • created a £5,000 sensory room to help children with additional need and social, emotional and mental health needs
  • donated laptops to help with home learning
  • laid topsoil in the garden so grass could grow
  • tidied up the garden so children could grow their own fruit and vegetables
  • donated spare wooden cable reels to be painted and used as outside tables

Published: 26 August 2022

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