Storyhouse - collaboration award

11 October 2016

As Storyhouse celebrates the 80 birthday of the opening of the Chester Odeon building and prepares to re-open as a transformed and rejuvenated Cultural Centre what better birthday present than a Collaboration Award from the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Anna Boxer, Principal Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas, Historic England North West said:  “The Chester Odeon project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when design and project teams work collaboratively with partners such as Historic England and other stakeholders. It is the willingness to first invite to an early dialogue and then actively listen, understand and take on board each other’s different roles, views and ambitions which in the end produces a creative and constructive discussion. The end result is not a compromise but a scheme which balances a broad range of interests and in that creates success.”

Said Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing: “I am delighted with this award, the judging panel noted the level of collaboration that had underpinned the project from the outset, from the way the public consultation was conducted with local residents, to the collaborative design process involving many different agencies, special interest groups and stakeholders. Shadow Cabinet Member, Stuart Parker added: “Congratulations to all of those many people whose years of work is about to be unveiled, the wait is nearly over and I’m sure residents and visitors will be as excited as I am about the Cultural Centre. This award is a perfect birthday present for the building.  The award has been the result of the extensive consultation that has continued throughout the project, Jade Barrett from Ginger wine bar and delicatessen summed up the project: “Storyhouse is the best thing to happen to not just our city, but to our region, in as long as we can remember. Speaking as a local resident and as a local business owner; the Storyhouse team have blown us away with their commitment to engagement.  We are so impressed and could not be more excited about the future”.

Alex Clifton, Artistic Director, Storyhouse, who is currently working on the exciting opening programme added: “We were nominated for both the Best Heritage Project and Best Collaboration and to then win the Collaboration award is a huge testament to the whole development team.”

Justin Williams, Operations Manager, Kier Construction: “Kier are proud to have played a part in such a collaborative planning process. All of the parties involved including the wider Arts bodies and the public at the engagement meetings have arrived at the perfect solution for the scheme” 

Paul Shuker, WYG’s project manager for the scheme, said: “This was a very exciting project on which to work and we are extremely proud to have helped deliver such a successful and loved scheme that will be embraced by future communities. The award endorses WYG’s commitment to innovative and ‘real’ inclusive community stakeholder engagement.”

Follow the progress of Storyhouse at

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