Northgate Fast Facts

Northgate is not a new shopping centre – it’s a leisure destination comprising a new 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 drain through the city, which will reduce flooding and untreated sewage discharges into the River Dee.

 

  • The site covers almost two football pitches and over 200 people are involved in its construction and management. Northgate is costing £72m to build and over 300 jobs are expected to be created by the project.

 

  • Work started in July 2019 and is expected to complete in summer 2022. The car park is likely to be the first element to open followed by the restaurants fronting Northgate St. and then the remaining elements including the new market hall and cinema.

 

  • Despite some delays caused by Covid the project is currently expected to complete on time.

 

  • 300 tonnes of steel framework will be installed, the equivalent weight of 75 Asian elephants, and enough concrete to fill the Northgate Arena swimming pools 2 times over.

 

  • 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 will disturb 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, we have used their symbol of a wild boar in the logo for the new Market.

 

  • The Picturehouse cinema will have 6 auditoriums sitting above the market hall, a ground floor foyer and a rooftop bar.

 

  • The market will have space for 40 stalls and combine produce and general merchandise with food and beverage traders. It will have approx. 400 seats across 3 separate areas, including a garden area, a stage for demonstrations or musicians and a screen to show events.

 

  • The public were invited to submit names for the new central square and arcade that will be formed of the central arch of the former library building – once the Westminster Carriage Works built in 1914. Over 800 suggestions were submitted and a final public vote on a shortlist will be held later in the year.

 

  • Four new trees will be included in the central new public square, and there will be over 750 square metres of green walls incorporated to the development. Extensive cycle parking and electric vehicle charging will also be included and the car park will also include nesting boxes for swifts and bats.

 

  • Social value outcomes to date include over 450 apprentice weeks, 64 employment activities, 15 school and college visits, and 13 community engagement activities.

 

  • 99.7% of waste from the Northgate site will be recovered or recycled; recovered sandstone has been used to repair Chester’s historic city walls and sand excavated from the new drainage tunnel has been donated to Chester Zoo for their black rhino and painted dog enclosures as it mirrors their environment in the wild.