Work has begun on Chester’s new Bus Interchange at Gorse Stacks as politicians helped put spades in the ground.
A small ceremony involved representatives of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire and Warrington’s Local Enterprise Partnership and contractor GRAHAM Construction.
Council leader and local ward councillor Samantha Dixon welcomed guests to the ceremony and invited Town Crier David Mitchell to make a formal declaration to mark the start of the 14 month building programme.
Former landlord and landlady of the Ship Victory Pub, Joe and Helen Gildea attended the ceremony and were presented with the sign from the Ship Victory as a memento of their years of service in the local pub, which is shortly to be demolished as work gets underway to prepare the site for construction.
The new Bus Interchange is part of the proposed Northgate development in Chester city centre which will deliver 40,000 square metres of modern retail accommodation and create more than 1,180 new jobs.
Councillor Dixon said: “I look forward to the completion of this new public transport gateway for Chester. I am sure it will provide a much better experience for bus passengers and a more favourable first impression of the city for our many visitors.
“It will also free up the current Princess Street site for the future development of the Northgate Scheme giving Chester’s retail centre much needed new investment”.
Howard Hopwood, deputy chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is an important investment in Chester’s local transport infrastructure that will help to unlock new jobs and prosperity as part of the growth deal for Cheshire and Warrington.
“The Northgate scheme is a priority development that will play an important part in delivering our ambitions to double the size of the area’s economy by 2040 and this is an important first step in a key project for Chester that will pave the way for much wider development.”
Graeme Moffat, senior contract manager for GRAHAM Construction, said: “As a local resident I am delighted that our company has been appointed as contractor for this important project and we look forward to delivering a high quality end product for the city.”
The Bus Interchange is expected to be completed by December 2016 and to open to the public in early 2017.
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