Chester Northgate secures 8,600 sq ft letting

Restaurant chain The Florist has signed to open a two-storey outlet at the under construction mixed-use scheme in Chester city centre.

The restaurant will be The Florist’s latest – joining its existing sites in Liverpool, Bristol and Watford. The brand is part of restaurant operator the New World Trading Company, which has 29 restaurants in its portfolio including The Botanist, The Club House and the Oast House brands.

The latest venue, inspired by floristry, will feature “an abundance of flowers” in its design, and offer food, cocktails and live music.

The much-delayed Chester Northgate city centre regeneration, being delivered by Cheshire West & Chester Council, is due to open in spring 2022 and feature an indoor retail market, a cinema, multistorey car park and public square adjacent to the Storyhouse cultural centre that opened in 2017.

The scheme has been more than two decades in the making with numerous iterations of various proposals submitted over the years. A hybrid planning permission for the current proposal was secured in 2016 but the project has undergone a series of amendments over the last four years.

In June, the council agreed to put a further £4m towards the city centre development, adding to the £70m construction spend already revised upwards by £10m.

Now, preparatory work is being carried out by main contractor Vinci, and work has carried on during the coronavirus lockdowns.

The Florist will join other restaurant operators that have signed to open at Chester Northgate, including Tapas Revolution, Cosy Club and Picturehouse Cinema.  The Florist will take space over two floors in the arcade element of the scheme fronting Northgate Street and the new public square.

Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “This vote of confidence in our vision for Northgate is especially pleasing in view of the ongoing challenges now facing the hospitality sector.

“We look forward to rewarding [The Florist’s] confidence as we work to deliver a transformational scheme and the biggest development in Chester in decades.”

Tim McCormac, property director at The New World Trading Company, added: “We have been watching the plans for the redevelopment of Chester Northgate for some time and believe that this is the ideal opportunity for us to grow our business in such a vibrant and unique destination.

“The Northgate scheme, with its distinctive historic and cultural heritage, aligns perfectly with our wider brand vision and makes it the ideal next home for us. We can’t wait to be a part of Chester’s exciting future.”

JLL and RivingtonHark were the lettings agents for the transaction.


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