Maple Grove

National café bar further strengthens tenant line up at Preston’s Animate

22nd February 2023


Loungers has signed a 15-year lease at Animate, Preston’s city-owned £45million cinema and leisure complex, which is being delivered by Maple Grove Developments. The announcement comes after Eric Wright Construction started on site last month.

The café bar chain has taken a 4,265 sq ft unit, in a move which will further strengthen the retail and leisure offer at Animate, joining anchor tenants The Arc Cinema and Hollywood Bowl, as well as other national and regional restaurants and a street food hub. Designed by Leach Rhodes Walker, the wider development will also offer a 164 car park and improvements to landscaping with an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining, street lighting, a changing places facility, improved pedestrian access and new trees.

Only three units are now left: Unit 4 in centre of parade (restaurant); Unit 6 (food hub) and the competitive social space. Bradys and CBRE are the joint lettings agents for Animate and advised Maple Grove Developments.

Gemma Irwin, Community Manager at Loungers, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Loungers to Preston.  A real home from home, we’ll cater for all tastes throughout the day with a varied and innovative all-day menu.  Whether it’s a coffee with friends, a long lazy brunch with family or a relaxed dinner and drinks, our Lounge will be the perfect place to relax and unwind in good company.   Our Lounges strive to put community at the heart of hospitality and our teams always go the extra mile to make a difference.”

Councillor David Borrow, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation said: “Loungers is a substantial operator in the UK hospitality sector and the business has proved to be one of the rising stars in the industry over the past three years. It’s commitment to Animate is testament to the attractiveness of Preston as a great place to invest in and do business here.”

The scheme is funded and owned by Preston City Council, with support from the Towns Fund and City Deal. The scheme’s complementary public realm improvements are being supported by a Lancashire County Council Economic Recovery Grant.

The Animate development is a key project in Preston’s 15-year City Investment Plan and is one of six major projects planned under Preston’s Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme, for which the city was awarded £20.9m from the government’s national Towns Fund initiative in March 2021.