UK cinema chain Curzon has secured its first cinema outside of London, signing a 25-year lease for the Knutsford Civic Centre and Studio Cinema.

The deal will see Curzon take on full operational management and programming at the cinema following a two-year tender process by owner Cheshire East Council, which came down to three bidders.

The venue will be rebranded as the Curzon Knutsford from early 2013, with plans to fully refurbish the cinema and café bar, including updating the projection with the latest digital technology.

The acquisition of the venue, 15 miles from Manchester, is part of Curzon’s ongoing strategy to expand out of London, where it operates six independent cinemas.

Curzon also provides film programming in partnership with The Cornerhouse in Manchester; operates online streaming service Curzon on Demand; and owns film distributor Artificial Eye.