Bilfinger GVA joins Chester Northgate team

The firm’s compulsory purchase team has been selected‎ by Cheshire West & Chester Council to advise on land assembly for Northgate, the £300m mixed-use scheme approved by the local authority in September.

Northgate, delivered by development partner Rivington Land, is to be delivered in two phases, the first of which includes a cinema to be operated by Picturehouse, two new restaurants in the former library building, a new market hall and hotel and is forecast to start in autumn 2017. The bulk of the retail element will be delivered in the second phase.

Following a competitive OJEU process, Strutt & Parker was appointed in August to provide advice on funding options for Northgate. Architect ACME and surveyor JLL advise Rivington.

Picturehouse agreed terms in September on a deal to operate the cinema, a facility that CWAC said would complement Storyhouse, a new cultural centre comprising an 850-seat theatre, 100-seat arts cinema and a library. Storyhouse is due to open in spring 2017.

The Northgate development has been in the pipeline for more than a decade. After two failed development agreements with ING and Scottish Widows, a masterplan emerged in 2011 and was then reworked after developer Rivington was appointed in July 2014 to steer the scheme through the planning and development process.

Mike King, senior director in the compulsory purchase and compensation team, said: “We are very much looking forward to providing our dedicated CPO land assembly experience, expertise and track record in major regeneration and infrastructure projects.”

Bilfinger GVA’s CPO team is currently acting on the Mersey Gateway project and Warrington Council’s town centre redevelopment. King’s past work includes land assembly for the expansion of Metrolink in Greater Manchester.

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