Chester Odeon

Chester theatre decision next month

Cheshire West & Chester Council said the choice of site for Chester's new theatre will be made on 13 October.

The council said the long-awaited ruling will fall to all 75 members of Cheshire West & Chester Council, voting on a recommendation from the executive made eight days earlier.

The former Odeon art deco building in Upper Northgate Street, now in public ownership following the council's purchase of the property in July, is one of the preferred sites for Chester's proposed theatre.

A four-month feasibility study named the Little Roodee as another potential site for the city's flagship building for cultural activities.

Robinson: "I am delighted to confirm that the Council has completed the £2.6m purchase of the former cinema from the Barnsley-based owners, Brook Group.

"Recently, Members of the Council voted unanimously in favour of securing this very important building – a decision very strongly backed by members of the Chester public.

"We can now ensure that whatever decision is taken on the theatre site that the Odeon will continue to play an important role in the economic and social life of the city centre."

The council added that the granted listed building consent awarded to the Odeon and its location on the boundary between the city's main shopping core and leisure area gives it a strategic importance in the future development of Chester.

Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation, said: "While feasibility studies are still continuing, we can now proceed knowing that both preferred sites are in Council ownership."

The council has also promised to give consideration to a third set of plans submitted recently by former Mayor Jim Latham and his Chester in Concert Group for a theatre behind Chester's main library.

Parker added: "It has been something of a long journey but I am sure the people of Chester will appreciate the careful process we are following to deliver a first-class performance venue.

"Increasing our cultural offer is, of course, a vital part in creating our vision for Chester as an international visitor centre. We will take a major step forward on October 13."

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