AFTER years of being starved of big screen action, Eastleigh's film buffs will at last be able to see their dreams come true.

A £24m scheme, which is on course for completion later this year, includes a nine screen multiplex cinema and a 20-lane bowling alley alongside the Swan Shopping Centre.

The huge steel frame of the building is starting to tower above Wells Place and gives a better idea of the scale and size of the development.

Eastleigh Council leader Keith House says: "This is the biggest development in the town centre for over 20 years."

Leading national multiplex operator Vue is providing the cinema while bowling giants AMF will be running the bowling centre. American Italian restaurant chain Frankie and Benny's along with Portuguese flame-grilled chicken restaurant Nandos have already signed up for the project. Other big-names are expected to join the complex.

Swan Shopping Centre manager Dee Buffone says: "The new development will bring a much needed entertainment boost to the people of Eastleigh that will serve to enhance the already strong retail offer we provide at the Swan Shopping Centre.

"We appreciate our shoppers' support during the development and will continue to work closely with the council to minimise disruption."

Cllr House said the multiplex cinema development was the first step in the town's regeneration.

He said: "Eastleigh boasts a distinctive character. We want to build on that and work with the local community and investors to make the town even more attractive.

"In addition to the leisure development we are preparing an action area plan to be published in 2009 that will provide a framework for the regeneration of the town."

Meanwhile the council has warned that as the work continues some disruption is likely. For more information see the council website.