With nearly a year before the Northgate scheme fully opens, the public are invited to select from a shortlist of four options each for the name of the new square and arcade.
Following the submission of more than 800 suggestions by the public earlier in the year, the shortlist has been selected to represent the unique history of Chester and the Northgate site, and help incorporate the new development into the fabric of the city.
Simply select your favourite name at www.chesternorthgate.com/naming before the closing date of 5th November.
The options and their explanations are:
- Coachworks Arcade
There has been a coachworks on the Northgate site since 1870, the current façade that will form the main entrance to the Northgate site, was built in 1914, (formerly the Chester Library building between 1984 – 2017) and outside on Northgate Street was also the coach stop for tours and excursions into the 1970s.
- Via Victrix
Via means road or passage and victrix means conqueror or winner in Latin; Victrix was the honorific title given to the Chester-based Roman XX Legion for defeating Boudica in AD60/1.
- Minerva Arcade
Minerva was the Roman goddess of trade and wisdom; there is also a Minerva Shrine located beside the route of the main Roman road into the Chester fortress of Deva from the south.
- Holme’s Arcade
In honour of the four generations of Randle Holmes, who were all heralds, sheriffs or mayors of Chester from the late 16th to early 18th century; Randle Holme III compiled the first book printed in Chester, ‘The Academy of Armory’ in 1688 which was a forerunner of encyclopaedias and included an illustrated guide to the goods for sale in Chester Market at the time, some remaining original editions are held by the British Library and Cheshire Archives.
- The Castrum
The Latin word for barracks, as there were three Roman barracks located on the Northgate site.
- Exchange Square
After the name of the original Market building opened in 1692 that was located very near to the Northgate site and burnt down in 1862.
- The Market Garden
The Northgate site was previously the Medieval market gardens for the city where vegetables and fruit were grown and sold in the market.
- Fortress Square
The Northgate site was one of the largest and most important Roman fortresses in Britain and was occupied for almost 400 years.
The Northgate development will feature an arcade leading from Northgate St. into a new square at the centre of the scheme, which will also include a new market hall, six-screen cinema, restaurants, cafés and a new multi-storey car park.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy & Regeneration, said: “Thanks to everyone that submitted a name for the new square and arcade; after looking at all the options and the most popular choices, we have selected these eight names to reflect the rich history of the city and in particular the Northgate site which was the epicentre of the Deva Roman settlement. I look forward to seeing which option receives the most votes.”
Councillor Stuart Parker, Conservative group committee member of the Northgate Joint Members Working Group, said: “With so many names suggested, we had a hard task of selecting a shortlist, but I hope these options provide a fitting choice for what is set to be a fantastic addition to Chester’s range of attractions for residents and visitors alike when it opens next year.”
Cllrs Stuart Parker (left) and Richard Beacham with the Arcade and Square shortlists