£1m Project to Revitalise Chester Rows Reaches Completion

Share This Post

A four-year initiative to rejuvenate Chester’s historic Rows has concluded, marking a significant achievement in preserving and promoting the city’s unique architectural heritage. As part of the Heritage Action Zone programme, this ambitious project aimed to enhance understanding and engagement with the Chester Rows, a distinctive feature of the cityscape.

A council spokesperson highlighted the programme’s success in attracting new investment and encouraging footfall, vital for the local economy. The improvements were particularly crucial in supporting traders following the impacts of the pandemic. Although the funding was insufficient to address all necessary physical works, the visible cumulative impact has been impressive. The Rows have been revitalised, showcasing their historical stories, supporting cultural activities, and engaging the community.

The £1.08 million initiative was part of a national effort by Historic England to revitalise 67 historic high streets across the UK. Additional funding and support came from local entities, including the city council, Chester Business Improvement District, Marketing Cheshire, the University of Chester, Chester Civic Society, Grosvenor Estates, and other private sector partners.

Chester-based heritage consultants worked with the council’s conservation and regeneration teams to align the work with historic records. Specialists in historic conservation carried out the repairs, which included refurbishing oak stallboards, repairing ceilings and balustrades, restoring pedestrian bridges, and conducting masonry work. The project also improved alleyways and painted public walkways in period colours.

Key achievements of the programme included:

  • Conducting heritage repairs on over 100 properties, which involved graffiti removal, redecorating public walkways, repairing balustrades and stallboards, and installing a new lighting system.
  • Commissioning five short films to enhance public awareness and appreciation of the Rows, available for viewing online.
  • Supporting the development of various visitor trails, such as the Rows Time Travelling Treasure Hunt and seasonal window trails, to increase engagement with the Rows.
  • Developing the ‘Browns of Chester’ exhibition and archive.
  • Hosting over 450 ‘Medieval Meet & Greet Experiences’ to interact with residents and visitors, thereby enlivening the high street.
  • Funding a range of seasonal events, from Halloween trails to Christmas choirs, to create a unique shopping experience and draw more visitors to Chester.
  • Collaborating with twelve local schools, a teenage heritage group, and local artists to explore the legacy of the Chester Rows through various projects.
  • Producing a new Business Guide to support the local business community and conducting an upper floor study to find new uses for empty upper floors.
  • Enhancing CCTV and fire protection systems to safeguard the historic fabric and support business continuity.
  • Partnering with landlords to reinvigorate empty units and foster investment.

A representative from Chester BID emphasized the programme’s importance for local businesses, noting the historical significance of the Rows in hosting enterprises for centuries. The collaboration with the council, Marketing Cheshire, and other partners was crucial in revitalizing the city centre and helping businesses thrive in this unique heritage environment.

Chester city centre’s visitor economy, valued at £1.13 billion annually, supports over 20,000 jobs, including those in the supply chain. The heritage appeal of the city centre plays a crucial role in driving footfall and sustaining business occupancy.

The council representative added that the Rows currently host over 200 shops, including many independent traders and eateries, as well as hotels, offices, and community spaces. The community’s pride in the historic centre is evident, and the completion of the Heritage Action Zone marks a significant step in preserving this legacy. Future initiatives will continue to build on this foundation, including new investments and community projects aimed at maintaining and enhancing Chester’s historic charm.

The successful completion of the Chester Rows project not only preserves the city’s heritage but also sets a foundation for ongoing and future initiatives. This collaborative effort between public and private entities underscores the community’s commitment to maintaining Chester’s unique cultural and architectural heritage for future generations.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jacksonhttps://newswriteups.com/
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team. dawn@newswriteups.com

Related Posts

Health Board Addresses Reasons Behind Surgery Cancellations at North Wales Hospital

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has provided clarification...

Football Club Appeals Battery Park Decision

A Scottish football club has lodged an appeal with...

Glasgow’s Historic Buildings Under Threat from Invasive Buddleia

In a growing battle against nature, Glasgow's iconic heritage...

Coastal Residents Voice Concerns Over Decline in Fisheries’ Health

A significant majority of residents in Scotland's coastal communities...