CHESTER will find out where its new multi-million pound state-of-the-art theatre is going to be based on October 13.
And the former Odeon Cinema is looking like the clear front runner.
All 75 members of Cheshire West and Chester Council will meet on October 13 to vote on a recommendation from the Executive made eight days earlier.
At the same time the date for the all-important decision was confirmed by the council, chief executive Steve Robinson also revealed the iconic Art Deco Odeon building in Upper Northgate Street was now in public ownership.
He said: “I am delighted to confirm the council has completed the £2.6m purchase of the former cinema from the Barnsley-based owners, Brook Group.
“Recently, members of the council voted unanimously in favour of securing this very important building - a decision very strongly backed by members of the Chester public.
“We can now ensure that whatever decision is taken on the theatre site that the Odeon will continue to play an important role in the economic and social life of the city centre.”
Recently granted listed building consent, the Odeon’s prominent location on the boundary between the city’s main shopping core and leisure area gives it a strategic importance in the future development of Chester.
The Odeon and Little Roodee were selected as the two preferred sites for the city’s cultural flagship theatre after detailed examination of alternatives throughout the city.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, said: “While feasibility studies are still continuing, we can now proceed knowing that both preferred sites are in council ownership.”
The council has also promised to give consideration to a third set of plans submitted recently by former Mayor Jim Latham and his Chester in Concert Group for a theatre behind the main library.
Added Councillor Parker: “It has been something of a long journey but I am sure the people of Chester will appreciate the careful process we are following to deliver a first-class performance venue.
“Increasing our cultural offer is, of course, a vital part in creating our vision for Chester as an international visitor centre. We will take a major step forward on October 13.”