PLANS for a £30m leisure complex are to go on display to the public for the first time as consultation on the scheme begins.

The Feethams Leisure scheme, planned for the heart of Darlington town centre, will include a nine screen multiplex Vue cinema and an 80-bedroom hotel, surrounded by a family pub, bars and restaurants.

The plans for the former bus station at Feethams were announced in November, sparking hopes that the complex could bring economic regeneration to Darlington and provide hundreds of new jobs.

A public exhibition showing the complex in more detail will go on display at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington, on Saturday, February 2, between 9am and 3pm, as part of consultation before the proposals are submitted to planners.

Developer Terrace Hill said it has received interest in the site from national organisations, including Whitbread, who could operate a Premier Inn on the site, and Brewers Fayre, as well as proposals from independent businesses looking for prime space.

Duncan McEwan, head of leisure and retail for Terrace Hill, said: “The exhibition will provide a great opportunity for those wishing to find out more about Feethams Leisure to speak directly to the project team and have their say, with all feedback being considered before the proposals are finalised and submitted to Darlington Borough Council.

“Should the scheme be approved by the council, Feethams Leisure will provide a first-class leisure experience for locals and help to attract visitors to the town centre, whilst also creating 500 jobs, and further jobs during the construction phase.”

Feedback forms are available at the exhibition and - all feedback must be submitted by February 18. Subject to planning approval, work is anticipated to begin on Feethams Leisure in early 2014 before opening to the public in December 2014.