The newly completed Northgate Development, positioned just down Northgate Street from The Bluecoat Building is set to transform Chester City centre, with a ‘new look’ market space as well as the exciting addition of; restaurants, cafés, a cinema, office space, and community areas.
With the plans having seen many different guises over the years, this exciting city-centre concept has been a long time coming and has evolved over the last few years into a stunning leisure space that reflects Chester’s rich history and focuses on the importance of social cohesion and communal spaces.
The development builds on the huge success of Storyhouse next door, creating an abundance of opportunity and community growth. From live music spaces and exhibition areas to exciting retail and leisure units, there is even a tranquil garden and quiet area to allow people to unwind or take time out from their busy week.
Chester has long been synonymous with its market, so a key area of interest for many is the new Market Hall itself, which is bigger, both in the number of stalls and space, drawing in more people and becoming a thriving hub at the heart of the city. The design of the market has taken inspiration from both traditional and contemporary market halls, such as Altrincham Market and Southport Market, producing an open, light, sustainable and fully accessible space for all.
The communal area consists of around 400 seats, a stage for live events and a large screen, meaning the market will unite businesses, the local community and also visitors to the city. The 39 stalls surrounding this space will house a broad range of produce to browse and buy, with stalls hosting a florist, vintage shop and zero plastic shop, as well as delicious food to eat such as Mexican and wood fired pizza. Importantly, many of the original market stall holders who have been an essential part of the market for many years and made it succesful, will move to the new space.
As Chester’s oldest charity, dating back to 1837, it is exciting to see the reflection of Chester’s history in the development, offering ways for both Chester residents and tourists to connect with the rich history of the city. Murals have been drawn on the car park walls by local artists which depict 2,000 years of history in Chester. The Northgate Development has also kept the original archways of the old Chester library to maintain both the beautiful façade and a nod to the past.
The Northgate Development will create jobs, boost the local economy, unite communities and bring visitors to our much-loved city, and The Chester Bluecoat Charity very much looks forward to its grand opening this year.