AN ORGANISATION tasked with regenerating the economic prospects of the city is relocating to smaller offices.
Chester Renaissance had been based within Chester Visitor Centre, opposite the amphitheatre, but this became embarrassing after the building was vacated by both Cheshire Taste Cafe and the visitor centre business.
Now Renaissance, headed up by chief executive Rita Waters, is moving to a new base in Abbey Square because the lease has come to an end but will only offer accommodation for three or four core staff.
Meeting facilities will be used in nearby venues such as the newly refurbished Chester Town Hall.
Chairman Steve Broomhead said: “It is a smaller organisation than when I first joined 18 months ago, budgets being what they are. They have been trimmed back considerably but there is a core group of staff.”
He denied the empty building in which Renaissance was currently located was embarrassing, adding that there had always been an intention to leave the building.
Mr Broomhead said the Abbey Square site was perfect given it is about to become a hub of activity when the free school opens.
“We think it’s the right place as it symbolises regeneration and it is a very cost-effective way of doing things,” said Mr Broomhead.
The chairman said progress continued with the proposed Central Business District. Manchester-based Muse Developments had submitted plans for its first office building and public realm on a 3.5-acre site bought from Lloyds Banking Group linked to nearby Chester Railway Station by a walkway.
In addition, Cheshire West and Chester Council showed continued commitment to the delivery of the proposed £40m theatre and cinema complex.