COUNCIL funding of more than £3m could be needed to help create the ‘front door’ to Chester's proposed new central business quarter.
Cheshire West and Chester Council's executive was due to hear last night (Wednesday) that the ‘worst case’ scenario could reduce to less than £1m if two funding bids are successful.
Regeneration director Charlie Seward is due to tell councillors in a report that the creation of the business quarter adjacent to Chester Railway Station is ‘a fundamental part’ of the Chester One City plan.
It would include the new central business district, residential development at the Shot Tower and former lead works site and the Waitrose scheme, including an hotel, on the former Boughton Retail Centre.
The development is said to be of regional significance for employment, creating up to 440,000sq ft of office space over the next five to 15 years and generating more than 3,200 jobs.
It would transform the way business is done in the city.
Mr Seward said: “The area must be transformed from its current poor and dysfunctional state into a high-quality, accessible and attractive environment.”
The gateway would be located on the present east car park of the railway station.
The total cost of the scheme is said to be £3.1m, with both the borough council and Chester Renaissance seeking funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the Local Enterprise Partnership covering Cheshire West.
The scheme is due to go ahead in June 2014, with completion in April 2015, ahead of the first business district building being ready for occupation in mid-2015.