The Botanist's site in Birmingham
The Botanist's site in Birmingham

Lichfield’s MP has praised councillors for backing a deal to bring a new food and drink brand to the city centre.

Members of Lichfield District Council backed a £1.7million package as part of the development of a new cinema.

The money will be used to attract The Botanist to the city by paying for the fit-out of the new premises and offering rent support for the company.

The deal was put forward as part of the plans which will see Everyman Cinemas also move to Lichfield.

Sir Michael Fabricant, Conservative MP for Lichfield, said:

“I welcome Lichfield District Council’s forward-looking decision to attract The Botanist to the city as part of the Everyman cinema complex.

“This upmarket gastro pub chain has attracted other businesses in its wake owing to the increased footfall generated by its customers.  

“Lichfield already has an excellent pub and food offer in the old centre of the city attracting many visitors from the region by day and by night – The Botanist and other outlets will rejuvenate the Birmingham Road area anchored by the upmarket Everyman cinema. 

“The £1.7million investment by the district council to secure The Botanist to the city is projected to generate a far greater return over the years to come in terms of additional tourism revenues.

“I am pleased that the two main political parties have worked together in Lichfield to see this venture come to fruition.”

Sir Michael Fabricant

As part of the deal to bring in Everyman on a 25-year lease in the former Debenhams building, the council and partners Evolve Estates had to commit to also attracting a brand on a shortlist provided by the cinema operator.

The Botanist currently operates around 30 venues across the country.

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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John Allen
26 days ago

So, let me get this right – the council will be paying for a commercial retailer to fit out their premises and helping them with the rent, to the tune of 1.7m of resident’s council tax? Am I missing something here? An interesting precident. Can we expect a queue of businesses looking for council money (ie our money) to set up and make a profit? I didn’t think this was how private enterprise was supposed to work, but you learn something every day.

Cllr Paul Taylor
25 days ago

@John Allen – This is how retail land deals work. Every large retail development has an “anchor tenant” (or several, depending on the size) that attracts the type of customers the other tenants want to sell to.
For example, when Merry Hill was first built, the biggest anchor tenant was the Tesco supermarket. They got all kinds of sweeteners, investments, and rent-free periods. Merry Hill’s owners knew that with Tesco in place, they could charge more in rent to the other tenants because Tesco brought people to the mall.
Smaller retailers know they won’t get the same kind of help or investment because they lack the reputation or offerings to attract customers.

25 days ago

@John Allen, this sort of stuff happens in commercial transactions all the time. From the sounds of it LDC has leased the space out for a while so realistically 1.7 million is not much in the grand scheme of things. Considering the circumstances, this isn’t a situation where businesses are going to queue up for council money. That’s just scare mongering. Just because you may not understand commercial transactions doesn’t mean you can just create random and unrealistic scenarios to make things seem bad.

25 days ago

I was all for it, but if Fabricant thinks it’s good it’s probably going to be a disaster

25 days ago

Many years ago a company called Elemeta was given an inducement to move from London to Cornwall. When the inducement ended And they had to start paying they shut down and returned to London.

The Local Man
25 days ago

How you take about take back control of the town centre “Three Spires Shopping Centre” from Evolve Estates, Lichfield Council. That would be considered an investment. Your spending millions on improving their figures not your own, not even being a desired venue to the people of Lichfield. This isn’t an investment, no matter how much you chuck glitter onto it and promote with clowns.

24 days ago

Looking forward to spending money at The Everyman and The Botanist in Lichfield instead of travelling to Birmingham to spend my money on the same venues there.