Professional consultants have been appointed to move to the next stage in the redevelopment of Dee House in Chester.
The Dee House and Amphitheatre Working Group recently met to approve the appointment of several Chester-based companies.
This month they will begin the work that will lead to the stabilisation of the building.
Structural engineers Ramboll, conservation architects Donald Insall Associates, quantity surveyor Thornton Firkin and construction, design and management advisor (CDMA) Keelagher Okey Klein will work on the project.
Together they will bring the building back into use and make it an attractive proposition for investors.
The team’s role will include obtaining planning permission and Listed Building Consent. All the planned work will be agreed with Historic England.
It is anticipated that the plans will be agreed this Spring with a contractor appointed in the Summer. Physical stabilisation work will result in the building being made stable and safe for people to access for the first time in many years.
Gemma Davies, Director of Economy and Housing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “After over a year of discussions among members of the working group, shared learning and then agreement being reached on recommendations for the building’s future, it is rewarding for all involved in the group to have now reached this stage and to be making further progress.
“The fact that we have appointed consultants and work can now begin on making the building stable and accessible, means we are another step closer to the day when the building can be brought back into use. We hope it will become an attractive asset for residents and visitors to enjoy and we want to see progress happen swiftly in the months to come.”
Alongside the physical stabilisation programme, the Council is liaising with the working group to identify and secure an investor who will deliver long-term re-use of the building.
Commercial agents are preparing a soft market testing pack which will be launched this month.
Andy Foster, chair of the Dee House and Amphitheatre Working Group, said: “The working group is keen to see rapid progress on the stabilisation work at Dee House this year. The sooner this happens, the quicker we will be able to attract further investment into the building, which will be for the benefit of all residents.”
The Council is investing £500,000 to fund the stabilisation work.
This is in response to recommendations from the working group to redevelop the site using a public and private partnership.
The plan would allow community access, offer heritage interpretation, and bring the building back into public use.
The group reconvened its monthly meetings virtually at the end of 2020. It will now meet regularly to oversee the redevelopment project in partnership with the Council.
A video presenting the Dee House and Amphitheatre Working Group’s recommendations recorded last year is available on the Council website at: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/news-and-views/dee-house-and-chester-amphitheatre/dee-house-and-chester-amphitheatre-working-group.aspx