Unlocking the potential of Chester’s waterways is the aim of a new strategy that – rather fittingly – received its official launch on the River Dee.

A river trip was held to celebrate the publication of the Chester Waterways Strategy, which aims to guide improvements and investments in and around the River Dee and the Shropshire Union Canal.

The strategy outlines how the city’s waterways can contribute to growth, investment and the leisure economy, and aims to maximize their potential for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.

It was developed in consultation with more than 75 local stakeholders, in partnership with Chester Renaissance, Cheshire West and Chester Council Canal and River Trust, Inland Waterways Association and Chester Canal Heritage Trust.

Some of the strategy’s initiatives are already beginning to take shape, including riverside path improvements and the creation of ‘pocket parks’ to enhance the waterside environment.

Admiral of the Dee and Lord Mayor of Chester Councillor Bob Rudd, who attended the launch, said: “The strategy is about enhancing the canal and the river, making the most of their potential as key economic and social assets and delivering new connectivity between the city and its waterways.

“The aim is for Chester’s waterways to once again play a key role in delivering growth and vitality for the city.”

The strategy will complement the emerging transport strategy and cycling strategy, and will provide input to the Local Plan which guides development.

A full copy of the Chester Waterways Strategy can be found at www.chesterrenaissance.co.uk