Cheshire West and Chester Council’s plans to keep Chester as one of the UK’s top places to live and visit have taken a step forward as Councillors backed proposals to progress to detailed designs for the next phase of the city’s regeneration scheme.
The Council’s Chester Northgate Joint Members Working Group has agreed proposals to advance the initial phase of the project, valued at £60 million, which includes a new relocated dynamic and modern market, six-screen cinema, restaurants, public square and car parking.
The next stage is to develop and refine the design in advance of a scheduled start on site in early 2020. Architects AHR have been appointed by the Council to lead this design phase and the lead architect involved in the design is a local resident of the borough.
In addition civil engineers, Curtins, and planning advisors, GVA How Planning, join the team of specialist advisors supporting the Council. These advisors have been chosen based on prior experience of similar projects and all have locally based offices.
Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure said: “The Northgate scheme has been a long time coming but we are clearer than ever on what we want to see in this part of the city.
“The fact this multi-million pound project is being led by the Council is proof that we are serious about investing in the future of the city, building on the phenomenal success of Storyhouse. Having made this decision to press on with the next phase we look forward to welcoming other new occupiers joining the exciting current line-up of Picturehouse, Zizzi, Cosy Club and Tapas Revolution.”
Vinci Construction UK is the Council’s preferred contractor and will be formally appointed to a pre-construction agreement in autumn 2019. During this year the team will be completing feasibility studies, continuing tenant negotiations, submitting plans for approval and beginning construction enabling works. The Council and design team will be consulting stakeholders and the local community on the updated and revised proposals in the spring with a number of local events.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Shadow Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “Northgate is an integral part of the One City Plan, which guides development across the city. This project will bolster Chester’s leisure and culture offer, as well as providing more jobs in the heart of the city.
“The complex detail involved in developing this central area of the city cannot be underestimated. With building work due to start early 2020, the team has a lot to deliver this year and we are looking forward to seeing the emerging plans for this area.”
Chester Northgate is the largest scheme to be delivered in the city in many years and will bring with it a huge economic boost for businesses, residents, the wider borough and visitors alike. Chester Northgate is part of the One City Plan 2012-2027 which guides development decisions in the city and has seen over £194 million invested to date, delivering major projects including; One City Place, King Charles Tower Green and Chester Bus Interchange.