REPORTS have emerged that Cineworld is drawing up plans to close a quarter of its UK cinemas.

Sky News is reporting that the move is part of a ‘radical restructuring that would also include extensive rent cuts’.

The firm occupies a flagship unit in Leigh on the Loom retail park, having opened in December 2011.

It is not known whether the Leigh cinema will be among those earmarked for closure.

The troubles of the cinema chain, the world’s second largest, were highlighted in a number of news reports last summer.

At the time, Journal readers said the thought of it possibly closing would be a huge blow for the town.

Sky News says it has learnt that the company, which until last year was listed on the London Stock Exchange, is considering closing about a quarter of its roughly-100 British multiplexes.

Cineworld also wants to renegotiate rent agreements at a further 50 sites, with the remaining 25 untouched by the restructuring, the broadcaster said.

Sources told the news provider that the proposals were expected to be formally outlined to creditors including landlords in the coming weeks.

A Cineworld spokesman said: “We continue to review our options, but we do not comment on rumours and speculation.”