Surrey County Council leader Tim Oliver has said the new REEL Cinema at Brightwells Yard is just the start of Farnham's transformation.

Cllr Oliver spoke to the Herald during a Champagne reception to open the new cinema, joined by the great and good of Farnham on Wednesday, January 31.

Surrey County Council has invested up to £30 million in the commercial element of the Crest Nicholson-built Brightwells Yard scheme, revitalising the long-neglected eastern end of Farnham town centre.

The REEL Cinema is the first commercial unit to open in the development, with up to 24 other shops, restaurants and other businesses set to open before the development is complete.

More new arrivals are expected later this year, but Coppa Club and Nando's are currently the only traders confirmed to have signed pre-lets.

Plans have, however, been submitted for signage by Franco Manca and Pret-a-Manger in recent years, with Jetts Fitness, Charter's estate agents, a dentist and nail salon also hotly tipped to be taking units.

Cllr Oliver also indicated in a meeting with the Farnham Visitors' Forum last week that Farnham Library could be set to relocate from Vernon House in West Street to Brightwells Yard – potentially taking on three units opposite the former Marlborough Head pub on the corner of East Street.

And alongside the Brightwells Yard scheme, Surrey County Council is also progressing plans for a major two-year overhaul of Farnham town centre's congested road network.

Road closure notices were recently posted for the phased works starting this September – but Cllr Oliver told the Herald it is still his ambition, and MP Jeremy Hunt's, that the works start earlier, this July.