The buyer for the housing part of the project has not yet signed the deal, despite the fact this was expected to have been completed on May 4.
On top of that, the council also says in the current climate it is expecting a lack of interest from restaurants and bars for the new units attached to the cinema.
Once complete, the £50 million project will feature an eight-screen Arc cinema, 132 new homes and a range of food and drink outlets.
It is hoped the project – which began long before COVID-19 – will lead to a regeneration of the wider area, and boost the town’s night-time economy.
But the council now says, in a document released today, that it will be instead looking for pop-up alternatives at the food and drink outlets.
Work on the site had to be suspended altogether at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and once it resumed it was slower due to social distancing requirements.
The council says there is a risk rental income will be lower for at least the first two years, due to the ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
The council report says: “Despite an initial suspension of construction activity, (builders have) restarted work on site in accordance with safe working recommendations.
“The programme is being affected by reduced productivity to achieve safe working, but there is a high degree of confidence that the building works will be complete and the public square opened by Christmas.
“The Arc Cinema is about to tender for its fit-out works and remains committed to the project.
“Their works may be similarly affected depending on how long social distancing remains, so the current estimate for opening is late May next year.
“As it is unlikely that cafe, bar and restaurant operators will be acquisitive for some time, the initial lettings focus will now be on meanwhile/’pop-up’ uses to provide activity and footfall – helping to get the cinema off to the best start and also supporting existing businesses in Beeston town centre as they recover from lockdown.
“Whilst it is still anticipated that the project will ultimately be self-financing, there is a risk of an initial revenue deficit in the first two years after opening due to expected delays in securing long-term lettings and lower initial rents as businesses emerge from the current extraordinary circumstances.”
Councillor Tim Hallam is the Liberal Democrat councillor for Stapleford South East, and chairman of the Jobs and Economy Committee.
He said: “A lot of things have stalled, and it’s all to do with COVID-19.
“So there’s going to be pushback in terms of the time it takes to actually build it, and there’s going to be a lot of work to do to rebuild business confidence in the local area and get people to actually invest in our high streets, and our entertainment and hospitality again.
“This is not a problem that’s local to us, but it’s a problem that we’re taking very seriously locally.”
A spokeswoman for the coalition-controlled council said: “The purchaser of the residential site has confirmed their commitment to the project, and in order to allow the market to settle down as the COVID-19 restrictions are eased, has agreed with the council to defer completion for up-to six months. The building works are expected to complete and the public square open by Christmas.
“The Arc Cinema is tendering its fit-out works and remains committed to the project. Their works may be similarly affected depending on how long social distancing remains, therefore the current estimate for opening is late May 2021.
“Due to the current cafe, bar and restaurant market condition, the initial lettings focus will now be on meanwhile/’pop-up’ uses to provide activity and footfall – helping to get the cinema off to the best start and also supporting existing businesses in Beeston town centre as they recover from lockdown.”