A business breakfast in Chester has focused on investments and regeneration in the city.
Marketing PRojects, the Chester and London marketing and public relations agency, sponsored the meeting at the Riverside Innovation Centre in Castle Drive with Place Northwest and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The event featured presentations and updates from developers and Cheshire businesses.
The focus included the One City Place business quarter near Chester Railway Station, the new Business Improvement District for Chester and the investment in the boroughs.
Councillor Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “The One City Plan plays an important part in getting investment into the city. We have attracted a lot of jobs into the city and we must work in partnership with the private sector.
“In different parts of the borough, such as in Ellesmere Port we brought in 3,000 jobs and many of these have already recruited including General Motors and Sinclair.”
Muse Developments has secured a £4.8m development loan to part-fund the first phase of the One City Place scheme in Chester from the North West Evergreen Fund and £1.4m grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the only funding being committed outside Greater Manchester. Muse Developments believes the scheme will deliver thousands of new jobs to the area.
Phil Mayall, development director for Muse, said: “It was the One City Plan that convinced us to invest in Chester. It includes planning permission for 500,000 sq ft of good quality workplace. The first building is an over £6m investment, with rents at £19-£21 including car parking and is substantially cheaper than Manchester City Centre.
“We also have the ability to build up to 200 residential units along the canal representing £120m worth of investment. Chester city centre is fantastic – it has retail, leisure and lifestyle, it is a business location in its own right and we are getting enquiries and are encouraged by the interest in Chester.”
Jane Harrad-Roberts, director of Marketing PRojects, said: “The investments shown by developers and businesses demonstrate the confidence that people have in Chester and the surrounding area. We are committed to help support the region as a ‘must visit and must stay longer’ destination, to increase tourism and reinvigorate the commercial sector which is vital for creating and sustaining employment for the area.”
Businesses and partner organisations in the region are working closely to encourage more investors to the commercial and retail areas in Chester and to attract people who visit the major attractions such as Chester Zoo, Cheshire Oaks and Chester city centre to visit two or three of these attractions over a weekend and to stay a longer.