Work on the re-development of the Kingsgate Centre in Huddersfield is due to begin next week.

The former House of Fraser store has been stripped out and is going to be turned into a leisure complex including a six-screen cinema operated by The Light.

Work to re-develop the 90,000 sq ft three-floor former House of Fraser unit will start from Monday March 6 as the entrance and exit to the car park in Zetland Street is closed. Drivers should use the Venn Street entrance instead.

Supported by a £7 million loan from Kirklees Council, developer WD Kingsgate is planning major changes to create Kingsgate Leisure, with a target opening date of September 2024.

Kingsgate Leisure will be operated by The Light, which already runs 12 other venues across the country with another opening in Surrey this year.

The Light will offer six cinema screens and 10 bowling lanes, alongside what they describe as “a variety of other leisure activities and food offerings” which will be revealed in the lead up to the opening.

The plans originally included a sky bar with an outside ‘helter skelter-style corkscrew slide which excited councillors when they gave planning permission back in 2019.

Two years later revised plans appeared to show the sky bar had been dropped though there was still a smaller version of the slide. Huddersfield Hub has asked The Light if a slide remains part of the latest plans.

Clr Graham Turner, the council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are committed to helping businesses thrive in Kirklees and I am delighted that the council has worked very closely with WD Kingsgate to help them to deliver this scheme.

“Kingsgate is a key destination within the town centre and the redevelopment will complement the existing shops and become an important family-friendly leisure destination.

“The developer’s vision for the project is in line with our own Blueprint ambitions for the town centre and will help create the perfect mix of retail, culture and leisure.”

Peter Everest, of WD Kingsgate, added: “I am grateful for the council’s support in delivering this scheme. We are excited about bringing a high-quality cinema into Huddersfield town centre alongside a variety of other food and leisure outlets.

“Our re-developed centre will create a new destination within the town centre that gives the opportunity to shop, eat and see the latest films all within a stone’s throw of the other planned town centre developments.”

Keith Pullinger, founder of The Light, said: “We are thrilled to be opening in Huddersfield and offering the residents a great place to engage in fun activities and experience exceptional cinema.

“Our spaces are known and loved for offering somewhere to bring friends and family together, providing entertainment whatever the occasion.”