Animate Preston

Animate is a groundbreaking entertainment, cinema, and leisure complex in the heart of Preston city centre. This state-of-the-art development is set to revolutionise the city’s cultural and recreational landscape, providing a vibrant and diverse entertainment destination for residents and visitors alike. It is expected to open in 2025.

The project is a flagship initiative of the Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme. It is being spearheaded by Preston City Council and Maple Grove Developments (part of the Eric Wright Group). Originally envisioned as a cinema-led scheme, the project has evolved to include a wide range of leisure facilities.

The development will feature a cinema, a tenpin bowling centre, restaurants, a street food hub, and significant public realm improvements. Each scheme aspect has been meticulously designed to contribute to an all-encompassing entertainment destination, enhancing the city’s cultural growth and fostering community engagement.

The Exciting Features of Animate Preston

One of the key features of the complex is The Arc Cinema. The eight-screen cinema will occupy a 29,500-square-foot space in the complex. With its state-of-the-art facilities and diverse range of films, The Arc Cinema is set to provide an immersive cinematic experience for visitors. 

In addition to the cinema, the complex will feature a 16-lane bowling alley operated by Hollywood Bowl. 

The complex will also feature five family restaurants, with confirmed tenants including Zizzi, Las Iguanas, and Cosmo. These restaurants will offer diverse culinary experiences, catering to various tastes and preferences. 

With its state-of-the-art facilities and diverse offerings, the complex is set to become a must-visit destination for residents and visitors alike.

Animate is set to have a significant impact on the people of Preston. The complex is expected to create hundreds of jobs, boosting the local economy. 

Location and Getting There

Animate is located within the Harris Quarter, in the heart of Preston city centre. The development stands on the former Preston Indoor Market site, a facility that served the community for nearly half a century. The old market was demolished in 2019 to pave the way for the construction of the complex, marking a new chapter in the city’s cultural and recreational development.

The complex is adjacent to the Preston Outdoor Market and a stone’s throw away from the Harris Museum. This prime location places it amid the city’s vibrant commercial and cultural hub.

The development is well-served by public transport. Preston Bus Station is just 100 yards to the east. This proximity to the bus station ensures that visitors can easily reach the complex from various parts of the city and other towns in Lancashire. Preston Train Station, a West Coast Main Line station, is only a third of a mile away.

Project Timeline

Construction work on the Animate cinema and leisure complex began in January 2023, with completion expected by late 2024. The complex is set to open its doors to the public in early 2025.

Other Leisure and Entertainment Complexes in Preston 

While the Animate complex is set to be a significant player in the city’s entertainment scene, it’s worth noting that there are other leisure and entertainment destinations in the area.

Located in Barton, just six miles north of Preston, the Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre is a unique destination offering various activities. The centre features a full-sized curling rink, perfect for those looking to try out a new sport. For film enthusiasts, it houses a boutique three-screen cinema that showcases a variety of films, from blockbuster hits to independent productions. The centre also has a tenpin bowling alley and an 18-hole indoor crazy golf course.

The Capitol Centre, located in Walton-le-Dale just south of Preston city centre, is a retail and leisure park that offers a variety of entertainment and shopping options. The centre has a 7-screen Vue cinema, a gym, several food outlets, and many shops, including Next, TK Maxx, and Currys.

Nearby Attractions

Tourist attractions and things to do near Animate Preston include:

Nearby Shopping

Places to shop near Animate Preston include:

Nearby Hotels

Hotels near Animate Preston include:

  • Holiday Inn Preston (0.1 miles)
  • No.10 Preston (0.3 miles)
  • Legacy Preston International Hotel (0.4 miles)
  • Winckley Square Hotel (0.4 miles)

Nearby Transport Links

Transport links near Animate Preston include:

  • Preston Bus Station (0.1 miles) - One of the most controversial buildings in North West England.

Nearby Train Stations

Train stations near Animate Preston include:


Map showing location of Animate Preston.

Map showing location of Animate Preston


Animate Preston

Harris Quarter
United Kingdom