A "major step forward" in regenerating Walthamstow town centre was being hailed ten years ago this week.

A deal has been struck over the planned development of the former Arcade site.

Waltham Forest Council has signed development agreements with Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) which set out the authority’s aspirations for the site and the timetable for the work.

The site is set to include a mix of leisure facilities, a cinema and housing on the junction of Hoe Street and High Street, Walthamstow.

It has been empty since it was purchased by the council nearly a decade ago after the collapse of a number of development schemes.

But the latest deal has been hailed as a “major step forward” for the development of the site.

Council leader Cllr Chris Robbins said: “Regenerating Walthamstow town centre is one of our major priorities, and I think most residents will agree that the plans ISHA and the Hill Group are drawing up match both the needs and the aspirations of our local community.

“Walthamstow High Street is one of the borough’s most-visited and most-recognisable landmarks, and the signing of these development agreements marks a major step forward for our ambitious plans to revitalise the area.”

A group hoping to purchase the former EMD building next to the Arcade site and re-open the venue for cinema and community use has welcomed the plans, insisting the planned Multiplex will serve a different market.

Final proposals for the development are to be revealed when a formal planning application is submitted later in the Autumn.

It is hoped work will begin in September next year.