After completing enabling work, construction of the £70m development is underway with Vinci continuing on site.
Following a review, earlier this month the council agreed to continue with funding for the long-awaited development, due to complete in early 2022, to ensure Chester bounces back from the Covid-19 pandemic by driving economic growth. The council signed off an additional £4m, reallocated from other projects.
Vinci began preparatory work in March and the firm has now started on the main phase of construction, which features a public square, market hall and six-screen cinema.
Additionally, the plans include co-working space and a multi-storey car park alongside restaurants and cafes.
The tenants already signed up are Zizzi’s, Cosy Club, Tapas Revolution, and cinema operator Picturehouse.
The regeneration of Chester city centre has been more than two decades in the making, with numerous iterations of various schemes falling by the wayside over the years.
Outline approval for the current scheme was granted in 2016 with designs drawn up by ACME, but in late 2018, Place North West revealed AHR had taken over as architect.
Fresh proposals were revealed in March 2019 before the green light for the first phase was finally given in September, clearing the way for Vinci to make a start on site.
Cllr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “Chester’s Northgate development will breathe new life into our city.
“Town centres are in the midst of big change and Covid-19 has accelerated this process. If we want to support the city centre by attracting more visitors and more people to live in the city, then Northgate is the future for all of these things.”
The wider project team for Northgate includes Planit-IE; Curtins; Avison Young; Hoare Lea; Rivington Land; Gardiner & Theobald; Gleeds; Vectos; WMC; Town Centre Parking, and Fraser Blair Associates.