NINE potential operators are battling it out to run Redcar’s new Regent cinema, it has been confirmed.

The firms, thought to be a mix of independent and larger national chains, have submitted bids as part of a tendering process being overseen by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

The council’s Labour group leader, councillor Alec Brown said he had been briefed by managing director John Sampson on the latest with the project, along with his fellow Dormanstown ward councillor Ceri Cawley.

Work is due to be completed on the seafront cinema in March with a view to it opening its doors in the spring/early summer.

Read more: Redcar's Regent Cinema set to open in summer 2022

Cllr Brown said he and Cllr Cawley had “insisted that the promise of affordable family cinema prices that made the Regent so loved by many should be honoured”.

He said: “There has apparently been a great deal of interest in the cinema and it’s all positive.”

The £9.6m project, which is being funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, has seen the demolition of the old picture house, which was deemed to be unsafe due to its deteriorating structure and which closed in 2018.

Its replacement is a three-storey ‘art deco-style’ cinema building, which council leader Mary Lanigan has described as “stunning” and “unique”.

The cinema will include a licensed bar with sea views and an events space for the public use.

A council spokesman said the tendering process was confidential but added: “We are excited about the progress being made building the new Regent cinema, which will provide entertainment to local people and holidaymakers for generations to come.

“We expect to be able to reveal more information about the opening in the coming months.”