West Cheshire residents are being invited to find out more about plans for Chester’s £37.5m theatre, library and cinema complex.

Exhibitions are taking place across the borough where people can discover how the former Odeon cinema on Northgate Street is to be transformed into an iconic cultural centre.

They will be able to view illustrated plans, talk to the architects and project team and provide important feedback ahead of a planning application, expected to be submitted in the summer.

There will also be an opportunity to talk to representatives from Chester Performs, the organisation responsible for the new centre.

Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy, said: “This is a great opportunity for residents to find out more about our plans for a world-class cultural centre for West Cheshire.

“All feedback received will be considered before a planning application is submitted, so it is important that we gather as many views as possible.”

Details of the exhibitions are as follows:

  • Friday April 25 – Palatine Room, Chester Town Hall, 12-7pm.
  • Saturday April 26 – Palatine Room, Chester Town Hall, 10am-4pm.
  • Tuesday April 29 – Park Suite, Winnington Park Recreation Club, Winnington, Northwich, 4-7pm.
  • Wednesday April 30 – Action Transport Theatre, Whitby Hall, Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, 4-7pm.
  • Tuesday May 6 – Winsford Library, High Street, Winsford, 4-7pm

Chester City Ward Councillor Samantha Dixon said: “Our priority is to deliver a cultural offer that meets the needs of people across our borough.

“This public engagement exercise is one of the ways we aim to achieve this, so I strongly urge people to take the time to visit an exhibition and let us know their thoughts.

“This is part of an ongoing consultation so that the project meets the aspirations of people in Cheshire West.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council is developing the cultural centre plans in partnership with Chester Performs.

The 800-seat theatre – with orchestra pit and extensive backstage facilities – will be housed in a new building, linked to the existing Odeon building by open foyer spaces.

The Grade II listed Odeon itself is to be restored and converted into a contemporary city library, including a café, study spaces and a 120-seat cinema located on the former cinema balcony.

Fully equipped to receive touring productions, the main theatre auditorium will also convert into a 500-seat venue to support Chester-based productions. A separate 150-seat studio will provide flexible rehearsal and education spaces.

Anyone who is unable to attend an exhibition can view the images and design information and leave feedback via the website www.renewchester.co.uk which will go live on April 24.

Residents can also keep up to date with developments via the project’s Twitter account @renewchester