City of Wolverhampton Council has received strong interest to operate the city centre cinema within the historic and award winning Grade II listed Chubb Buildings.

A total of 8 formal submissions have been received from a range of experienced operators.

These will now be whittled down to a shortlist of bidders before a preferred operator is selected for this exciting city centre opportunity.

The council, as landlord, joined forces with property specialists, Bruton Knowles, to launch a call out for expressions of interest from independent cinema operators and other creative organisations for the Fryer Street venue, and is delighted with the response.

The council is also working closely with the Chubb Buildings landlord, MIA, who oversee a range of businesses already within the buildings.

After receiving the keys back from the previous tenants in February, the aim is for a new cinema or creative arts operator to take over the running of the 2 screen, 6,625sqft space this summer.

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Visitor City, said: “The positive response we have had to our call out for expressions of interest shows there is a strong appetite for this city centre leisure opportunity.

“We are determined to bring the space back into use as a cinema, creative arts or performance space as quickly as possible with an operator that can provide a sustainable offer. Clearly, it’s already designed to be used as a cinema so we are particularly keen to speak to operators in this field whilst also keeping an open mind to other creative and cultural uses of this brilliant space.

“Whichever operator we select will further enhance our arts, culture and entertainment offer for residents and visitors to Wolverhampton.

“And as we’ve shown before, we’re prepared to offer ongoing support to operators – negotiable of course. Support will be dependent on seeing a commercially sound, sustainable and compelling case put forward.”

James Carey of Bruton Knowles added: “We have received a positive response, from suitably qualified cinema and entertainment experts. It’s been exciting to learn about their visions for the space and we look forward to hearing more about their plans in the coming weeks. We are confident of securing a great occupier for the benefit of Wolverhampton.”