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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March, 2004, 11:35 GMT
Campus will replace city cinema
Warner sign
The Warner cinema opened in December 1989
A university has struck a multi-million pound deal to bulldoze a cinema complex to make way for a city campus.

Newcastle's Northumbria University is spending 60m to redevelop the site currently used by Warner cinemas. More than 50 people will lose their jobs with the closure of the 15-year-old cinema later this year.

Northumbria University says it needs the site for expansion plans and as space for some of its 2,600 staff.

A spokeswoman for the university said cinema owners Vue Entertainment approached them over the sale of the seven-acre prime city centre site.

She refused to specify the purchase price, but said the cost was included in the anticipated 60m redevelopment costs.

Overseas students

Vice Chancellor Professor Kel Fidler added: "I am delighted with this new and exciting move for the university.

"The university's success over the past 10 years has led to significant expansion. The plain fact is we have outgrown our current site, both in terms of our size and our operation."

The university's income has grown by 91% in 10 years, with a current annual turnover of 135m.

More than 3,000 of its 24,000 students come from overseas.

A spokesman for Vue Entertainment, which bought the Warner site in May 2003, said the nine-screen cinema would remain open until Easter.

The 5m cinema was Newcastle's first American-style multiplex and was opened by Australian pop star Kylie Minogue in December 1989.

It has come under increasing pressure over the past 12 months, following the successful opening of a state-of-the-art new Odeon in the city's futuristic Gate entertainment centre.



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