Chester theatre

CWAC recommends Northgate Odeon complex

Plans for a £37m cinema, theatre and library complex in Chester are set to be given the go ahead by the council's planning committee after officers recommended the scheme for approval.

Proposals to extend the city's grade-2 listed Art Deco former Odeon to build a theatre, and change the use of the interior to accommodate a library, cafe and 100-seat cinema were first announced by the council in October 2011.

The Odeon has been vacant for around eight years and was selected from a short-list of three sites attracting overwhelming support from the public and members.

Kier Construction has been appointed to build the scheme, which is designed by Bennetts Associates.

CWAC announced £3m of Arts Council funding for the project earlier this year.

Work on the Northgate Street complex is scheduled to start in February 2015 and timed for completion to mark the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Odeon Theatre.

English Heritage support the proposal. The development is situated in Chester's area of archaeological importance within the Roman fortress and medieval city.

The Cheshire West & Chester Council strategic planning committee will meet on Thursday 18 September.

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