Chester has beaten 43 European cities to scoop an EU tourism award.

It has been picked out for ‘leading the way in making life more accessible for all’.

The EU Commission has announced Chester is the winner of this year’s Access City Award for 2017.

The prize is given to the place which strives to be accessible for people with disabilities.

Particular attention is paid to tourism, with all of Chester’s main attractions now accessible for wheelchairs including the Rows and Grosvenor Park.

Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Chester’s efforts to make its historical and cultural heritage fit for persons with disabilities deserve the highest praise.

“People with a disability should be able to participate in all aspects of life without limitations: social, cultural, economic, touristic, and more.

“I would like to congratulate Chester for leading the way in making life more accessible for all.”

Chester's Christmas lights switch-on and parade on Thursday, November 17 2016

Our city was chosen ahead of 43 other cities from 21 EU countries and the prize could provide a tourism boost.

Lord Mayor Angela Claydon said: “I’m incredibly proud at the fact that Chester is the very first British city to ever win the awards and delighted at our success.

“This is great for our borough’s disabled community – many of whom live or visit Chester regularly.

“Improved accessibility brings not only reassurance and the necessary support to those who struggle with mobility issues, but lasting economic and social benefits to the city and the borough and we will continue to place accessibility at the heart of everything we deliver.”

Rotterdam in the Netherlands was named the runner-up while Jūrmala in Latvia was awarded third place.

Chester was highlighted for its ‘long-term approach and ambitious plans for the future’.

Judges also picked out its ‘facilities and measures targeting the most severely disabled visitors’.

The EU panel praised the city for involving the private sector in its accessibility initiatives.

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