Following the relocation of the market and the closure of the Market Car Park, the Forum Shopping Centre will close on December 31.
The shopping centre which first opened in 1967, and was refurbished in 1995, will close as part of the Council’s “exciting vision” to regenerate the Northgate area of the city. The Council will be exploring potential development options for the site in the context of the wider review of the One City Plan for Chester.
The council intends to retain the four shops fronting onto Town Hall Square and the Crowne Plaza Hotel will also remain fully open for overnight visitors, events and for full use of their leisure facilities.
Tenants within the Forum have been supported to find alternative premises should they wish to relocate, and a number have already moved.
The impacts of the Covid pandemic and the changing nature of people’s shopping habits have had far reaching implications for the future provision of retail in town centres. These factors will also need to be considered as part of the future phases of development in the Northgate area of the city.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said: “The closure of the Forum is part of a planned strategy to prepare this area for future phases of the Northgate development. It is also part of the council’s plan to reduce the amount of vacant and poor-quality retail spaces in the city.
“I am really excited about how we can use this site, and other underused buildings nearby, to bring new life into this area of the city; in the months ahead, I am looking forward to starting to develop these plans so that more people are able to live and work in Chester city centre, which in turn will support local businesses to thrive.”