Work on Chester’s new cultural centre is well under way – and here’s a glimpse of what it will look like inside once it’s finished.
The £37million project is the largest cultural development under construction outside London. Located in the famous former Odeon, a Grade II art deco building, it will feature a library, theatre, studio, cinema and café spaces and is intended to open in late 2016.
Artists’ impressions of what the centre will look like inside were released after a group of representatives from principal sponsor MBNA toured the site for a first look behind the scenes at the development, which will blend theatre, music, dance, literature and cinema.
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As senior executives saw how the arts destination is unfolding, the development of a touch-sensitive ‘concept wall’ provided a talking point. The user-friendly interactive digital display is being created in partnership with MBNA to engage and assist visitors, using innovative technologies in keeping with the ground-breaking nature of the development.
Head of innovation at MBNA Gary Watts said: “The Innovation Wall will be fantastic opportunity to use the expertise of our technology partners to create an exciting installation that will generate a buzz with visitors of all ages. It will combine art and technology in a way that most of us usually only see on television or in films, so we’re excited to be bringing something very special to life.”
The cultural centre is funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), with support from Arts Council England and ‘significant investment’ from MBNA.
Following the tour, which took in the new foyer and library spaces, MBNA chief executive Ian O’Doherty said: “We were thrilled to see the progress that has been made on the project, which is fast transforming a neglected space into a world-class cultural centre. It’s a privilege for us to contribute to such a valuable resource for the local community”
The council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “We are very grateful to MBNA for their support in the RE:NEW project, which will provide the people of West Cheshire with a first-class cultural centre right here on their doorstep.”