Northgate Fast Facts

Northgate is not a new shopping centre – it’s a leisure destination comprising a new 6 screen cinema, market, restaurants and offices, alongside a new square, arcade and car park.

  • Northgate is the biggest building project in Chester for over 40 years, and also includes a new 1km long rainwater drainage tunnel under the city, to reduce flooding and untreated sewage discharges into the River Dee
  • Northgate is costing £72m to build and over 300 jobs are expected to be created by the project, the site covers almost 2 football pitches and over 200 people are involved in its construction and management; work started on site in July 2020 and is expected to be completed in late autumn 2022
  • 300 tonnes of steel framework has been installed, the equivalent weight of 75 Asian elephants, and enough concrete to fill the Northgate Arena swimming pools 2 times over
  • The new drain will provide a future-proof environment investment in Chester’s growth potential; and can handle 1,000 litres of rainwater per second – that’s over 12 bath’s worth – and serves an area of around 50,000m2 – which equates to around 9 football pitches
  • A great deal of care and thought has gone into protecting the archaeology on the site, which was once one of the largest Roman fortresses in Britain; despite finding over 10,000 Roman artefacts, the works have disturbed less than 3% of the archaeology, the foundations have been designed to let the building to ‘float’ above the archaeology
  • In honour of the Roman 20th Legion that was based at Northgate, their symbol of a wild boar has been used in the logo for the new market; the market’s stalls are made from 60 tonnes of air-dried English oak made using traditional wooden joints, including ‘scarf’ joints which were used in the construction of ships’ keels as there was a strong ship building industry in Chester until the River Dee silted up
  • The market hall has space for 40 stalls, combining produce and general merchandise with food and beverage traders;  it has over 400 seats across 3 separate areas, including a garden area, a stage and a screen
  • The public were invited to submit names for the new central square and arcade that was formed from the middle arch of the former coachworks façade built in 1914; over 800 names were submitted and a final public vote from a shortlist selected Coachworks Arcade and Exchange Square with over 5,500 votes cast online
  • Four trees have been planted in the new square, and there are over 750 square metres of green walls incorporated to the development, these will capture over 980kg of carbon annually, the equivalent of planting 38 trees
  • Extensive cycle parking is provided across the scheme including an indoor cycle hub, the car park includes over 40 electric vehicle charging points and the exterior incorporates nesting boxes for swifts and bats; the two stair-cores feature murals painted by Chester artist Graham Boyd depicting aspects of Chester’s rich history and heritage
  • Social value outcomes include over 650 apprentice weeks, 110 employment opportunities, 22 school and college visits, and 20 community engagement activities
  • 99.7% of waste from the site has been recovered or recycled; recovered Roman sandstone has been used to repair Chester’s historic city walls and 200 tonnes of sand excavated from the drainage tunnel donated to Chester Zoo.