CHESTER Railway Station’s latest development was officially opened following a £1.76 million investment.
The new concourse includes a ticket office, travel centre, two retail outlets and an information system providing details of arrivals and departures.
Ticket vending machines and ticket barriers have been moved to create more space and toilets have been modernised.
Ian Bullock, Arriva Trains Wales customer services director, said: “Chester Station is an historic landmark and an important gateway to the city.
“Rail travel is once again enjoying a period of growth and this refurbishment provides up-to-date passenger facilities while remaining sympathetic to this magnificent period building.”
The development is part of the Chester Renaissance initiative which plans to re-energise the city. The concourse follows the new traffic layout outside the station completed last year. Further improvements to platforms four and seven are planned during 2009/10.
Dave Thomas, chairman of Chester Gateway partnership, said: “We are continuing to progress schemes to encourage people to visit Chester by rail and to impact positively on the visitor economy and the vibrancy of this area of the city.”
Chris Brown, Visit Chester and Cheshire’s chief executive, said: “As the gateway into the city, it is crucial the first impression our visitors have is positive and this starts with the refurbishments of the station.”
The opening included speeches by Chester MP Christine Russell, Chester Renaissance chairman Shane Flynn and commercial director for Arriva Trains Wales Mike Bragshaw.