Work transforming the old Blockbuster store in Sidcup into a new library and cinema complex has begun.

Bexley Council called the launch of the project "welcome news" for "many of us looking forward to brighter days."

The contractors Neilcott, who are locally-based, arrived at the site at 106 High Street in Sidcup last week to start work.

The project will see the site of the old Blockbuster store revitalised, resulting in nine new apartments, a new community cinema, and library ready by April 2022.

Bexley's deputy leader and cabinet member for growth Cllr Louie French said they were "looking forward to the addition of another buzzing venue to Sidcup."

"I’m delighted to see this exciting project moving forward to the construction phase.

"This will deliver more cultural entertainment and activities for local people to enjoy, new quality homes and a boost to our local economy.”

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Cultural infrastructure developer Really Local Group will fit out and run the independent cinema that when finished will include 3 screens, a café/bar area and flexible event space.

The new apartments will be designed by award-winning architects DRDH.

During the works the footpath that runs along the Elm Road site will close with footpath diversion signs in place while the hoarding works are carried out.

Cabinet Member for Places, Cllr Peter Craske said: "During the ongoing pandemic, so many of us are looking forward to brighter days where we can visit our great local attractions and take part in community activities.

"This new library and cinema in Sidcup will be welcome news for many and something we can all look forward to in 2022."
It will be great to see the old site of Blockbuster put to good use and serve the local community once again.

"I know our amazing library staff will do a fantastic job of running the library and can’t wait to see the range of services, events and activities it will bring to Sidcup.”

Preston Benson, founder of Really Local Group, commented: "After 3 years of meticulous planning and preparation, we are delighted that the London Borough of Bexley has “pressed play” on the construction of the new cinema and Sidcup library.

"We look forward to working with the council and library in the coming months to finalise our exciting offer, which will include film, music and other cultural activities for the residents of Sidcup to enjoy for years to come!"