A £50 MILLION redevelopment of a Bournemouth town centre site into a leisure attraction is ready to go, creating 300 jobs, say developers.

Planning permission for West Central, which will see the old bus station site near the Square, Exeter Road and the Lower Gardens turned into a multiplex cinema and restaurant scheme was originally given in 2006 and renewed earlier this year.

Site owner NCP and its developer, Licet Holdings Ltd, are now finalising plans so that building work can start.

They say nine well-known leisure names are finalising deals for the cinema and restaurants, with their identities soon to be confirmed.

As well as the cinema, the scheme will see covered and al fresco dining areas and an underground car park.

Licet’s director Chris Dymond said that, although the development was put on hold during the recession, confidence had returned to the leisure sector and work could start next summer, with completion in 2014.

Mr Dymond said: “It’s widely recognised that Bournemouth needs a family leisure offer and we were disappointed to put the development on hold, especially as we had received such a warm welcome and support locally as well as from the national leisure restaurant and cinema operators.

“These occupiers have maintained their interest in the project and have been pressing us to get started again. We are therefore delighted that confidence has now returned to the sector and we’re ready to make it all happen, bringing a vibrant new attraction to the heart of town.”

Licet said the nine operators would account for 65 per cent of the floor space. The scheme is being funded by AREA Property Partners, an American private equity firm.

The plans steer clear of pubs and clubs, focusing on restaurants and bistros.

The current parking spaces will continue to be managed by NCP and will form the underground car park.

The building will have a three-level design, finished in glass and natural timber, to open up pedestrian access between the town centre, Lower Gardens, Exeter Road and the Winter Gardens, creating decked walkways and seating areas, overlooking the gardens.

The scheme is not the only one with a cinema proposed for the town centre.

Last month, a £100 million plan for a multiplex cinema, flats, restaurants, a hotel and a supermarket were submitted for the Winter Gardens site.

In August, revised proposals for a multiplex cinema, shops and restaurants next to Bournemouth Pavilion won planning permission.