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 drainage tunnel under the city, which will 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 complete in autumn 2022. The car park is likely to be the first element to open followed by the 2 restaurants (Cosy Club and The Florist) fronting Northgate St. and then the remaining elements including the new market hall and cinema
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 will serve 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 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, their symbol of a wild boar will be used in the logo for the new Market, inspired by a building plaque found on the site and now in the Grosvenor Museum
The cinema will have 6 auditoriums sitting above the market hall, a ground floor foyer and a rooftop bar. The market hall 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 and a screen to show events
The public were invited to submit names for the new central square and arcade that will be formed from the central 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 new trees will be included in the new public square, and there will be 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 will be provided across the scheme including a cycle hub, and the car park will include many electric vehicle charging points and the exterior will feature nesting boxes for swifts and bats
Social value outcomes to date include over 650 apprentice weeks, 110 employment opportunities, 22 school and college visits, and 20 community engagement activities
7% of waste from the site will be 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.