Funding Case Study: Chester Drainage Tunnel, Getting Building Fund
A major project supporting the £72m Northgate redevelopment
Project Name: Chester Drainage Tunnel
Project Applicant: Chester West and Cheshire Councl
Project Total Cost: c. £66m
Getting Building Fund Allocation: £5.095m
Contracted outputs: 338 new jobs, 9334sqm commercial floor space, 55 hectare of new public realm and event space,
The Chester Drainage Tunnel is a major infrastructure project required to support the £72m Northgate redevelopment in the City Centre. The rainwater tunnel which is 1km long, is a key element of the enabling works for the Chester Northgate development. It will also reduce instances of flooding and drain bursts in the City Centre, diverting rainwater away from the sewer network and maximising the capacity of the existing sewer network.
While the direct outputs from the project are understandably low due to the nature of the project the indirect benefits will be:
- 9,334 sq m commercial floorspace including a cinema (2,544 sq m), mixed retail and leisure provision, including a new market (5,923 sq m) and office (867 sq m) provision
- 55 hectare of new public realm and event space
- £72 million of total capital investment
- 752 gross person years of construction employment
- 338 gross jobs created and safeguarded
- £16.2 million of gross GVA per annum
Northgate has been in development by the council for over a decade. The LEP provided a £13.5m Local Growth Grant to complete the relocation of the bus station, freeing up the existing site for redevelopment as a key part of Northgate while also providing the City Centre with a state-of the art bus interchange, complete with a living roof.
As shopping habits have changed, it’s been important to reinvigorate the City Centre. The masterplan proposes this is achieved through increasing City Centre living, upgrading retail space and increasing the leisure offer to help attract more visitors and for longer, enhancing an already vibrant City Centre, rich in history and also developing the evening economy.
The project will create much needed new jobs and investment in the city as well as improving quality of life for residents.
The project will raise the profile of the City Centre, which already attracts high numbers of international visitors. The improvements will encourage visitors to stay longer and therefore help create jobs and investment for the area, helping to ensure the success of the City Centre for years to come.
Clare Hayward MBE DL, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP said: “These projects will support our vision of healthy, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and will have an impact on the quality of life, improving infrastructure and creating employment and training opportunities. The contribution from the Getting Building Fund is essential in helping drive the recovery and supports the dynamism in all parts of our economy.”