Kempsey Shire Council has undertaken to enter into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in an effort to see a cinema complex operating in the Kempsey CBD.
Economic modelling, research with other local government areas and a community survey have been conducted in order to establish the economic and social impact of this project.
The $6m project will see construction of a third storey on the Gowing Bros' Kempsey Central shopping complex. The 507-seat complex will include a foyer and box office/candy bar area and four cinemas seating 93, 150, 162 and 102 patrons each.
In February 2016 the Mayor Liz Campbell said the project would deliver a key service requested by the community.
“This is all about jobs and meeting the community’s needs. While modelling for the project showed an estimated 32 jobs during construction and an ongoing 22 jobs per year when completed, the biggest benefits are seen to come from stemming retail leakage and increasing our tourism offer,” the Mayor said.
Currently it is estimated that 43% of the shopping dollars from the local government area is spent outside the Kempsey Shire.
As with many local government services, the benefits of a cinema will not be returned in money back to Council itself. The primary benefits anticipated from the cinema include:
- Reduction of retail leakage: Where people leave Kempsey seeking a cinema experience and undertake other retail spending out of town.
- Increased employment: The additional spend will lead to increased employment, in addition to the direct employment generated within the business operation itself.
- Attractiveness to business investors: The most likely business investors are small to medium operators who will move with their business investment. These people are looking for lifestyle options and a cinema will increase the attractiveness of Kempsey as an investment option.
- Improve social activities: A cinema provides an increase in entrainment options for local residents, therefore improving social interaction and connectedness.