New public space has opened outside Chester Railway Station, marking the gateway to the city’s £100m Central Business Quarter.
The Grade II listed ‘Carriage Shed’ next to the station has undergone a transformation and will now provide city commuters, residents and visitors with a new space.
Carriage Shed, which will also be used as an outdoor events space, links to Muse Developments’ recently launched 70,000 sq ft office building One City Place and across the Shropshire Union Canal to the £20m Waitrose store and other shops in Boughton.
More than £1.5m has been invested into the new public realm by Cheshire West and Chester Council supported with a grant of £617,550 from the European Regional Development Fund. The transformation includes the renovation of the Coach House, construction of a new Arriva Trains Wales store, a new glass roof, ‘living’ wall, planting and paving.
Carriage Shed will have a dedicated events team and yearly events programme, as it looks to create an alternative venue for Chester’s entertainment. It will showcase everything from live theatre performances to themed monthly markets, which will be open to all residents of Chester as well as providing a unique venue to hire.
To celebrate the start of the events programme and officially launch of the space, the public are invited to visit Carriage Shed on Friday 1st April- Saturday 2nd April for a series of events.
Talented North West willow weaver and basketmaker, Cherry Chung will visit Carriage Shed to unveil a one of a kind art installation which will be showcased over a four week period.
On Saturday 2nd April the space will feature local street food stalls and weaving workshops for families of Chester to enjoy.
Phil Mayall, development director for Muse Developments, said: “Carriage Shed and the surrounding public realm provides the perfect setting for Chester’s new Central Business Quarter which will bring more than £96m to the city’s economy growth.
“As well as providing an exciting new events destination for the city, the space will be open for the public to use. It will boost the connectivity in the area by linking Chester Railway Station to the surrounding business, leisure and retail opportunities and offer a unique event space in the heart of Chester.”
Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure said: “Not only does the Carriage Shed provide a new sheltered walkway, it will also be available as a performance and activity space.
“The first activity takes place at the beginning of April when we’ll be welcoming artist Cherry Chung plus food stalls for a family event over three days.”
Over the next 15 years, it is estimated that the Central Business Quarter will create 3,500 jobs, provide 200 new homes and exciting retail opportunities, as well as a new hotel and leisure facilities.
A full list of events can be found on the Carriage Shed website www.carriageshed.co.uk or follow Carriage Shed on Twitter @CarriageShed, Facebook: /CarriageShed and Instagram: @CarriageShed for more information.
The new public realm was designed by urbanism specialists Broadway Malyan and built by MPH Construction.