TWO years after a promise to make Chester a vibrant family-friendly leisure-filled city at night, a Chronicle investigation reveals little has been achieved.
It was January 2005 when the City council produced its draft report on Chester at Night, highlighting the need for urgent action to make Chester a safe, clean and fun place to spend an evening.
Part of a bigger ambition to make Chester a 'must-see' European city like Florence and Athens by 2015, the night time strategy has failed to take off.
The Northgate development offers hope in four or five years of the return of performing arts, a piazza, and improved shopping.
But it also means massive disruption and the loss of the Gateway Theatre, soon to be followed by the closure of the city centre's only cinema.
Instead we have later licensing hours, a vast new nightclub and growth of a hen and stag night culture - the very image that the Chester at Night strategy was intended to sweep away.
City council strategic planning director Andy Farrall disgrees.
He told The Chronicle Chester was on the brink of a cultural and economic renaissance as more professionals flock to the city centre to live and work.
He said: 'Chester at Night is a long term strategy - it won't change the city overnight. Its biggest success is that there are a 1,000 more people living in the city centre. By 2010 there will be 4,000 more
people living in the heart of Chester and that will help create a vibrant lively city
'The Chester I envisage in the future is a vibrant cultural city at night with lots of things going on - not just people going to pubs.'
* Our special report on pages highlights a real concern that the dream of a continental-style cafe culture and street performers has yet to be realised...and gives YOU the chance to join the debate.