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Thetford's £8m Riverside complex opens to the public

PUBLISHED: 11:21 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:14 02 December 2016

Breckland Council chairman Bill Borrett (centre, with chain) with local councillors, community and business representatives, partners and others to celebrate the launch of Thetford Riverside. Pictures by Keith Mindham

Breckland Council chairman Bill Borrett (centre, with chain) with local councillors, community and business representatives, partners and others to celebrate the launch of Thetford Riverside. Pictures by Keith Mindham

Keith Mindham

A new £8m leisure complex is now open to the public.

A launch party at The Light Cinema in Thetford to celebrate the opening of the Riverside development. William Nunn, Breckland Council leader, welcomes schoolchildren and their families and friends to special pre-launch film screening. Pictures by Keith MindhamA launch party at The Light Cinema in Thetford to celebrate the opening of the Riverside development. William Nunn, Breckland Council leader, welcomes schoolchildren and their families and friends to special pre-launch film screening. Pictures by Keith Mindham

The Thetford Riverside complex – a combination of a cinema, 64 bedroom hotel, and five restaurant and café units – was officially opened by Breckland Council chairman Bill Borrett at a celebratory event on Thursday night.

The occasion was marked by a gathering of local dignitaries, while around 80 local schoolchildren and their families and friends attended a private film screening in the complex’s new Light Cinema ahead of its public opening today (Friday).

The development was delivered by Breckland Bridge, a joint partnership between Breckland Council and property developers The Land Group.

Mr Borrett said: “I am delighted that Thetford Riverside is now officially open to the public. This exciting new development is a key part of the council’s vision for the town and offers brand new leisure opportunities to Thetford’s residents, as well as creating more than 100 jobs.

A launch party at The Light Cinema in Thetford to celebrate the opening of the Riverside development. Bill Borrett, Breckland Council chairman, makes a speech. Pictures by Keith MindhamA launch party at The Light Cinema in Thetford to celebrate the opening of the Riverside development. Bill Borrett, Breckland Council chairman, makes a speech. Pictures by Keith Mindham

“It will also attract visitors from further afield and provide a catalyst for further growth in the town and across the district.”

David Winch, The Land Group director, said: “We are very content with how the Thetford Riverside complex has gone and it is an important day for Thetford going forward, now that it has considerably enhanced leisure facilities in the form of the fantastic new cinema as well as a hotel which is trading exceptionally well, alongside other restaurant and café units.

“We would like to thank our joint venture partner Breckland Council for their commitment and vision to embark on and complete Thetford Riverside. We are working with them on other projects across the district and also identifying other opportunities.”

The site took around 17 months to build, with one of its first tenants Travelodge opening in October.

Tickets have sold well for the Light Cinema’s opening weekend, during which it will be showing Harry Potter spin off Fantastic Beasts and Tom Hanks’ latest film Sully.

As well as new blockbusters, the three-screen digital cinema will be showing art-house films, ballets and operas with 2D and 3D screenings.

The development’s first restaurant tenant, American-style bar and grill Grand Central, is expected to open before the new year in the largest of its restaurant units.

Negotiations are underway with prospective tenants interested in occupying the remaining units, which all feature outside terraces for al fresco dining overlooking the newly landscaped riverfront.

Share your thoughts about Thetford Riverside – email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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