Markets, pop-up cinema and outdoor theatre are being lined up for a revamped railway carriage transformed into a public space next to Chester’s emerging business quarter.
And the space, which features a new glass roof, ‘living’ wall, planting, seating and paving, is also being launched as a hub for a programme of events with an emphasis on arts and culture, food and drink.
Supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council to the tune of more than £1.5m and the European Regional Development Fund, the scheme will be officially launched before invited guests on the evening of Thursday, March 31.
Phil Mayall, development director for Muse Developments, who are driving the business quarter, said: “Carriage Shed and the surrounding public realm provides the perfect setting for Chester’s new Central Business Quarter which will bring more than £96m to the city’s economy growth.
“As well as providing an exciting new events destination for the city, the space will be open for the public to use. It will boost the connectivity in the area by linking Chester Railway Station to the surrounding business, leisure and retail opportunities and offer a unique event space in the heart of Chester.”
To celebrate the start of the events programme and the official launch of the space, the public are invited to visit Carriage Shed on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 for a series of activities.
Talented North West willow weaver and basket maker Cherry Chung has been commissioned to produce a bespoke installation which will be on display throughout April.
And on Saturday, April 2, the space will feature local street food stalls and weaving workshops.
The Grade II listed site is also being promoted as a venue to hire for drinks receptions, corporate events, team building away days, murder mysteries, fashion shows and as a backdrop for films, documentaries and adverts.
The transformation also includes the renovation of the Coach House, construction of a new Arriva Trains Wales store and relocation of the British Transport Police station.
Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “Not only does the Carriage Shed provide a new sheltered walkway, it will also be available as a performance and activity space.”
Over the next 15 years, it is hoped the Central Business Quarter will create 3,500 jobs, provide 200 new homes and retail opportunities, as well as a new hotel and leisure facilities.
A full list of events can be found on the Carriage Shed website www.carriageshed.co.uk or follow Carriage Shed on Twitter @CarriageShed, Facebook: /CarriageShed and Instagram: @CarriageShed for more information.