The floodlights throughout the city remind me of stage lights, illuminating the space even when the characters are absent.
So exciting to watch the development of Storyhouse, which is due to open in May 2017.
Over the next few years, Chester will be going through a huge re-development phase. It will see a whole area of Chester be knocked down and then re-developed to make room for a new hotel, a department store, a restaurant quarter, shops and apartments. I think it's important as a local photographer to document this area before it is destroyed and re-developed so that in the future, I am able to reflect on the drastic changes made in Chester city centre. The photographs above are taken in the area that is proposed for the re-development scheme, depicting the different spaces that are soon to be abandoned and destroyed.
More Information about the Northgate Development plans can be found here.
Many years ago this building housed the cinema me and my mum used to visit every weekend to watch the latest films. For many years, I would say it was the heart of Chester, situated next to the main bus stops in the city, it was the landmark where everyone would meet up and then go onto do their shopping. In 2007, the grade two listed cinema closed it's doors for the last time and since then it has been put through many different plans for what it might be in the future. Now, the building is part of the RE:NEW project, that aims to return the building to a cinema, as well as a theatre and a library, aiming to remake it Chester's heart of culture once again.
Earlier this year, this article was released, revealing just how many commercial properties within Chester were standing empty. Although this has changed since, with new shops moving into the empty premises, it's still very clear when walking through Chester city centre that many shops are still empty.
The biggest shop to disappear from Chester this year was British Home Stores (BHS), leaving a huge gap on the main high street. The above images reveal how the store was left, just before it was boarded up. Looking inside the empty store without any people, any goods or even staff members makes this property appear almost like a ghost in the highsteet, hinting at what used to be here. All the lights are left on, some posters and signs still remain and elevators are an invitation to explore further.
"She gets to know the city by wandering its streets, investigating its dark corners, peering behind facades, penetrating into secret court yards." Lauren Elkin, 2016.