Find out about the start of Northgate at Town Hall drop-in

16 March 2020

For the latest details about the Northgate project, a drop-in event is being held on 25 March at Chester Town Hall between 4pm and 8pm for residents and businesses. 

Work begins this month to transform the northwest of the city centre into a destination for entertainment, leisure and dining. Chester Northgate is not a new shopping centre; it is a fantastic new cultural and leisure destination at the heart of the city, which includes: 
  • a new market and food hall 
  • a six screen Picturehouse cinema 
  • cafes, bars and restaurants
  • co-working space 
  • a new public square.
The development, due to open in late 2021, will build on the success of Storyhouse and complement the existing businesses on Northgate Street. The old library frontage will be transformed into a new arcade and provide a stunning arched entrance into the development, which will also be accessible from Hunter Street and Princess Street. 

The scheme will also create a new public square for the city, linking the new market hall, Storyhouse and the Town Hall. 

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth, said: “The Northgate project has been in development for many years, with several different versions being brought forward in this time. Now that the project is about to get underway, this drop-in event will help local residents and businesses to understand exactly what is happening and what benefits it will bring to the city.   

“The construction period will impact on vehicle travel in the city, including unavoidable traffic delays at peak times. I would encourage people to consider cycling and walking if you are able to do so - this will reduce traffic on our roads, has health benefits and will improve local air quality. The drop-in will include details about the planned traffic management along the ring road and information on how residents will be able to access regular traffic updates throughout the construction period.   

“The Northgate project is 30 years in the making, so whilst this next year or so will include periods of disruption for residents, we hope people will enjoy the benefits that the scheme brings to the city far into the future.  Thank you for your patience.” 

Also starting this month is the work to build a new 1km drainage tunnel for the city centre. Although over 85 per cent of the drain will be installed via tunnelling to minimise disruption above ground, the project will have a substantial impact on traffic using the inner ring road. 

Added Councillor Beacham: “The first phase of traffic management changes will be between March and July. This will allow the contractor’s to carry out enabling works and will impact on southbound traffic along St. Martin’s Way and Nicholas Street. It will require lane closures and pavement restrictions, resulting in places where two lanes will be filtered into one; plus some occasional northbound lane closures too. 

"This tunnel is a huge civil engineering project for Chester. It will enhance our infrastructure and unlock opportunities for future development like city centre housing, which in turn will help support businesses on our high street. The drainage tunnel will take approximately one year to construct and will ensure Chester has far greater capacity for dealing with surface water. It will significantly reduce the risk of flooding or drain bursts and will help limit raw sewage discharges into the River Dee as a result of the current system reaching capacity."  

The work will enable major regeneration of the city centre for the benefit of residents and visitors for decades to come. The full drain construction period between July and May 2021 will see the second phase of traffic measures with further disruption on St. Martin’s Way and Nicholas Street, including new closures to southbound traffic from the Fountains Roundabout. This is essential to maintain public safety during tunnelling work. Full details of all diversions will be publicised in May, including public transport incentives and alternative cycle routes. 

The council will provide information on all major highways works on the Council's website.

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