Legal & General Property (LGP), on behalf of its Leisure Fund, originally secured planning consent for the scheme back in 2007 but it stalled in the recession. However, final contracts have now been signed and Vinci has at last moved onto site.
With an 18-month construction period, Vinci is expected to complete by late summer 2016.
The two-acre site is a former NCP car park site next to Bournemouth's main shopping area. The 120,000 sq ft scheme, developed by Licet Holdings, comprises a 10-screen Odeon cinema along with 14 restaurants pre-let to the usual familiar high street chains.
Andrew Ferguson, head of leisure at Legal & General Property, said: “Without question this is the most eagerly anticipated cinema and restaurant-led leisure development that the UK has seen in the past 10 years.”
Licet Holdings director Chris Dymond added: “Following many years of rigorous planning, working with the council and our partners, it is all signed and sealed and we are delighted to be starting the construction of this unique and vibrant attraction, clearly signalling that Bournemouth is very much open for business.”
Elsewhere in Bournemouth Vinci is also building a Tesco supermarket on the site of an old petrol station and pub under a £7m contract.