COUNCIL bosses have moved to reassure residents the cinema and high profile retailer earmarked for the former Bromsgrove Market Hall site are still ‘committed’ to coming.
It follows the full Bromsgrove District Council meeting last Wednesday (September 24), when it was announced developer Opus Lands’ had dropped out.
Regeneration programme manager Richard Savory said it was a very unusual situation for it to be the developers pulling out rather than those moving in.
He added there had been no exclusive deal in place between Opus Land and the retailers so if one pulled out the other would not automatically do so too.
Mr Savory said council officers were moving forward and in the process of considering the options for the site.
Labour group leader Coun Luke Mallett said he thought it was extraordinary council leader Coun Margaret Sherry and Coun Rita Dent, responsible for the town centre, were not aware of the drop-out sooner.
A council representative said they received confirmation from Opus regarding its position on September 12 but officers did not inform senior members until they had started to explore the next steps.
The chief executive, leader and portfolio-holder were briefed on September 23 and the remaining members were set to be told later that week but the Labour Group’s question at the full council meeting meant the information was shared earlier than initially planned.
Coun Mallett said: “This is the single most important programme they are responsible for.
“The council leader and cabinet member need to get back around the table personally and get this crisis sorted out in the interest of our town.”
Coun Mallett added there were still many questions like whether the deal set up by Opus for the Local Enterprise Partnership to pay for the cinema was still valid and if the other smaller restaurants were still interested in coming.
“What we need is to see progress being made in the town centre.
“Local people are looking for absolute clarity as to what is on the table and what is up for negotiation.
“We need the leader of the council and the portfolio holder to get around the table with those retailers and put pen to paper and get a deal signed as soon as possible.”
Coun Sherrey said she wanted to reassure residents they still wanted to develop the site very much and she was doing all she could to assist the officers who were currently working on it.
She added it was right Chief Executive Kevin Dicks knew first and had he not been on holiday the information on Opus pulling out would have been released earlier.
Coun Dent also added there was still a high level of interest from potential tenants.