TWO leisure operators have been confirmed for a £45million cinema complex scheme.

The Fieldon Bridge scheme, on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland has been decades in the making.

Work was due to begin last Spring but was put back again, decades after talks around the subject first began.

Now Superbowl UK is to open a location at the retail and leisure park, comprising a 14-lane bowling alley, a soft play centre, indoor assault course, amusement arcade and diner and bar.

Reel Cinemas has also signed up to the 130,000 sq ft park, and will operate a seven-screen cinema.

Building work on the scheme is due to start in October 2019, with both the cinema and bowling operators aiming to open during October 2020.

Director of Superbowl UK, Kate Quaintance-Blackford said: "Superbowl UK Bishop Auckland presents us with an exciting opportunity to bring our distinctive brand of Family Entertainment to County Durham, where we believe it will prove extremely popular.

“The location of the site has been transformed over the past few years to become a major retail and leisure hub and we can’t wait to showcase our offerings.”

Kailash Suri, managing director of The REEL Cinema Group said he was delighted to be a part of the new leisure and retail development.

He said: “It’s a really exciting time for the REEL Cinema Group and for the people of Bishop Auckland. This will be a family venue with something for all ages to enjoy and we look forward to showcasing our experience.

"We pride ourselves on our value for money, very good customer service and complete comfort.”

Letting agents WSB Property Consultants LLP based in Leeds, are also in negotiations with a number of additional leisure and retail operators to create an all-day experience for shoppers and leisure customers of the scheme.

Adam Mobley, partner at WSB, said: “We are pleased to be able to announce that Superbowl UK and Reel Cinemas have committed to the scheme as the people of Bishop Auckland and the surrounding areas have been wanting a cinema and family entertainment venue for a number of years. Now we are working hard to secure a number of complimentary operators so that we can create a great experience for people of all ages.

“We have a number opportunities such health and fitness, restaurants and retail available to support this scheme and the surrounding commercial businesses in the area including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S Foodhall, Pets at home, Boots, Next, TK Maxx, amongst a host of other national names."

Durham County Councillor for West Auckland, Rob Yorke, said he met with the developers at County Hall, in Durham, on Tuesday.

He said: "We met with the developers at County Hall on Tuesday and they said they'd got about 80 per cent of the units signed up so there's 20 per cent of the retail to fill and obviously we have got Superbowl and the leisure facilities and the head lease is almost agreed, we just have to go through legalities."

He added: "It's exciting news and frustrating for me and for the residents as we've been speaking to the developers for three or four years now but we have got to appreciate a scheme of the magnitude is quite complex."

Cllr Yorke said the scheme was "a prize worth waiting for".