Dee House and AmphitheatreA new working group has met for the first of a series of monthly meetings to discuss the best future for Chester’s Dee House.

The Chester Growth Partnership’s Dee House and Amphitheatre Working Group will meet every month until June 2019.

Its members will discuss all the facts with a range of experts over this period with the aim of coming to a collective conclusion on the best course of action for the future of the historic building.

A public consultation will be then held for residents to give their views on the findings of the group. Cheshire West and Chester Council which owns the site will then decide on the building’s future based on the views of this influential group.

The working group membership includes representatives from the Chester Growth Partnership, Cheshire West and Chester Council members from across the political spectrum, the Chester Archaeological Society, Chester Civic Trust, Chester Attraction Partnership, Historic England in an advisory capacity, Big Heritage, Dig Up Deva, a Chester University archaeological student and Cheshire West and Chester Council officers.

It is chaired by Andy Foster on behalf of the Chester Growth Partnership who said: “The first meeting of the Dee House Working Group was productive and successful and is the first of many meetings we will have over the next seven months to reach our conclusions about the best future for Dee House and Amphitheatre in Chester.

“We had a lively and productive debate and agreed our programme of work which will run from now until June 2019. The meetings will enable all members to consider the full range of options available to us.

“There will be a full public consultation on the options for the future following the conclusion of our monthly meetings. The group is committed to dedicating time to the exploration of the issues to ensure that all avenues are explored.”

The first meeting focused on the terms of reference for the meetings and content of our work programme.

Subsequent meetings will focus on topics such as: Chester Amphitheatre, the national and local policy on listed buildings, the potential of the site as a visitor attraction, developer and third sector perspectives and the role of the community in the project.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “The Chester Growth Partnership Working Group creates a forum within which options can be effectively explored and tested.

“It will enable all parties to bring their collective expertise, creativity and passion to bear in finding imaginative ways of bringing the whole of the amphitheatre quarter to life through new and exciting approaches.  I look forward to working with the group to undertake this important work.”