Cheshire West and Chester Council

Chester West and Chester (CWaC) Council is an active member and a lead authority of the North West Construction Hub. It has previously won awards for its forward-thinking approach to project leadership, best practice, early engagement and collaborative working.

Before and throughout 2016 CWaC has channelled its project experience into a challenging landmark project in Chester. Although Chester attracts 8 million visitors a year and has a proud heritage, it has been without a theatre for 7 years and has no cinema. Most visitors and residents leave the city centre before nightfall.

At a time when libraries are closing and theatre funding is precarious, the £37m Storyhouse will celebrate all forms of storytelling. It is the high-profile catalyst for Chester’s c. £600m million Northgate regeneration programme and it is designed to re-energise the night time economy.

The 7040 sqm Storyhouse building will house a state-of-the art 800-seat theatre, 100-seat studio theatre and a 100-seat independent cinema – all within a world class public library.

As well as pioneering the integration of a library, theatre and cinema within one magnificent building, the project also includes the restoration of the Grade II-listed Odeon cinema building and will therefore re-kindle and redefine Chester’s identity.

CWaC and the project team has successfully overcome a huge array of technical challenges and met the expectations of an exceptionally long and diverse list of stakeholders and statutory bodies. This submission highlights how they did it.

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