The Council has bought out the long leasehold interest and will be working as an active landlord to make improvements to the appearance of the building and facilities creating a place people will want to go and spend quality time at.
Mark Green, MBC Director of Finance and Business Improvement said:
“Maidstone Borough Council is delighted to be taking on the lease of Lockmeadow which we consider is an integral part of the visitor destination to our County Town.
We see that the complex plays a huge contribution to the Maidstone economy, and plan to manage it effectively to ensure it is a key destination for residents and visitors which will encourage them to go there and spend quality leisure time with their family and friends.
By investing in the site, we will generate a financial return, which is in line with our commercial investment strategy. In addition, taking control of a centrally located site, that plays a key role in Maidstone’s leisure offer to visitors, will help the Council realise its priority of making the borough a Thriving Place.”
MBC will be working closely with existing tenants to help them in marketing the complex and will be consulting them on planned investments to Lockmeadow. Additionally, it will look at how to make the best possible use of the space in and around the complex, improving the appearance and facilities available.
Lockmeadow is currently a leisure centre with an Odeon multiplex cinema, 18-lane bowling alley, a trampoline park, restaurants and a two-level David Lloyd swimming pool and gym complex. It also has several car parks and is home to the market hall operated by MBC.
The purchase of the lease cost £19.1m and was agreed by the MBC Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 29 March 2019. The Council is funding the purchase through a combination of internal resources and borrowing.