A VISION to deliver a multi-cultural centre in Chester has been dealt a blow.

Cheshire Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre (CHAWREC) aims to establish the centre in Cuppin Street near the magistrates court.

But a funding bid to the Big Lottery to carry out internal alterations and provide staffing has been unsuccessful.

CHAWREC director Shantele Janes said: “I’d put in a bid to the Lottery which we didn’t get and at the moment we’re still in discussions with the council as to whether it’s feasible or not.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to providing such a centre to reflect the increasing cultural diversity of the population and has assigned funding to the project.

A business case document says the base would provide a local alternative to centres in Liverpool and Manchester.

It could add to the visitor experience by showcasing arts events and activities, for example, celebrations around Chinese New Year and the Hindu festival Diwali.

It would be cultural in its outlook and non-religious, providing space for education, arts, recreational activities such as martial arts and performing arts.

Business activities could generate income such as weddings plus food and catering. This could include the UK’s first Chinese catering school and a wholesale outlet for ethnic foods.

A council spokesman said: “This is part of our 10-year Capital Vision for the borough and Cuppin Street was identified as a building which is now partially empty and could house the multi-cultural centre.”