Work has finally begun on Orpington’s new multiplex cinema and leisure development.

The project will see a seven-screen cinema, three restaurants, a gym, and three retailers arrive by spring next year.

Located at The Walnuts shopping centre, the complex is expected to bring 200 jobs to the area, providing a “much-needed boost to the town centre’s economy”, say those behind the scheme.

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New mayor Councillor Julian Bennington marked the start of the construction on Monday June 30 and said: “I am delighted to be here to ‘turn the first sod’ on this exciting and important development.

“The project will improve the retail and leisure offer available in Orpington and make it even more a town to visit.”

Orpington has been without the movies for over 30 years, after The Commodore Cinema closed in 1982.