UK Government-backed film and TV body the British Film Institute (BFI) will this week unveil plans for a film centre at London's South Bank complex.

The new development will replace the institute's often-criticised National Film Theatre, a venue for some screenings during November's London Film Festival (LFF). The new complex will also house much of the BFI's other work, along with the non-film activities of other cultural bodies. No cost has been given for the new site and an architect is yet to be appointed.

The move appears to do little to deflect criticism of the NFT's location, which is also on the South Bank, and is seen as out-of-the-way compared to London's West End cinemas. The BFI had considered building a more central cinema complex, but proposals for such a move have been shelved.

But the new complex is expected to mark an improvement on the BFI's other public facilities such as its renowned library, which is currently available to the public via a small room at the institute's site on Stephen Street. The move may also win some critics over to the NFT, which is often attacked simply as ugly.

The LFF is expected to continue screening films at West End sites as well as on the South Bank.