There are plans to open a history of health and sickness attraction in the former History and Heritage Centre in the heart of Chester .
Big Heritage will launch a revamped version of its Sick to Death exhibition – associated with the creepy Plague Doctor character and based at the Water Tower on the City Walls since August 2016.
The Chester-based not-for-profit company won’t be vacating the tower but will instead establish a museum telling the story of the City Walls , and the people who built, maintained and lived within them over 2,000 years.
Big Heritage will open its new attraction – called Chester–A Life Story – in St Michael’s Church, Bridge Street Row East, after building owners Cheshire West and Chester Council moved the history and heritage service to Grosvenor Museum .
A lease on St Michael’s Church was finalised in February.
Now planning and listed building applications have been submitted to carry out an internal refurbishment and minor external alterations including removing the 1990s mezzanine floor and erecting new signage.
An appendix to the accompanying design and access statement incorporates notes of a meeting held in February involving Rebecca Mason from Big Heritage.
It reads: “The building will house an exhibition detailing various themes around sickness and health through the ages, developing a recent similar successful exhibition in Chester. RM explained that the project would need to be self-supporting and so the exhibits need to be movable to allow the space to be opened up and let out for events in order to raise revenue.
“The exhibits have not yet been finalised but current aim is for themes to be developed by March/April.”
Talking about the project last year, Big Heritage’s Dean Paton: “We are really excited to be bringing a cutting-edge new attraction to Chester that will push the boundaries of engaging people with the past. It will combine some incredible digital technology with historical archives and artefacts to present the story of Chester in a whole new light.
“We intend to invest close to £1m in the project over the next 18 months, and believe our offer will be become a ‘must see’ for both visitors and local residents alike. We will also continue to run a visitor experience at the Water Tower on the City Walls, which will see additional reinvestment from the Big Heritage team.”
Last summer Big Heritage partnered with Niantic Labs, the developer and publisher of the global games phenomenon Pokémon GO and The Pokémon Company International to lay on a world exclusive event which saw thousands of visitors descend on Chester to capture virtual monsters at 120 PokéStops.