A new public space marking the gateway to Chester’s emerging Central Business Quarter was opened by the leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council Samantha Dixon on Thursday evening (March 31).

Council leaders, businesses and city organisations gathered at the official launch of grade II listed Carriage Shed next to Chester Railway Station which will provide city commuters, residents and visitors with a new outdoor space.

Cllr Dixon said: “It’s a place for the public to dwell, to meet as they come in to the city to work, to visit or to play.”

“It’s also a vastly improved link between the station and canal corridor leading to Boughton and Hoole.

“We want to encourage you to use it and will launch a full programme of events later in the year.”

Related: Chester Carriage Shed will be arriving by platform 1

An installation by willow weaver and basketmaker Cherry Chung, A Passage Through Time, inspired by the old carriages, graced the new space, which will host a fun day this Saturday, April 2.

Cherry Chung's artwork at the Carriage Shed in Chester
Cherry Chung's artwork at the Carriage Shed in Chester

The space, formerly a car park, links the station to Muse Developments’ recently launched 70,000 sq ft office building One City Place and across the Shropshire Union Canal to the £20m Waitrose store and other shops in Boughton.

More than £1.5m has been invested into the new public realm by Cheshire West and Chester Council supported with a grant of £617,550 from the European Regional Development Fund. The transformation includes the renovation of the Coach House, construction of a new Arriva Trains Wales store, a new glass roof, ‘living’ wall, planting and paving.

The public realm was designed by urbanism specialists Broadway Malyan and built by MPH Construction.

Carriage Shed will have a dedicated events team and yearly events programme, as it looks to create an alternative venue for Chester’s entertainment. It will showcase everything from live theatre performances to themed monthly markets, which will be open to all residents of Chester as well as providing a unique venue to hire.

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.

The family friendly event on Saturday April 2 runs from 11am-5pm. Cherry Chung will host two free willow weaving workshops, there will be other artists workshops, a craft market and street food from vendors available on the day.