A NEW action group has been set up to lobby support for Chester’s new theatre and promote arts and culture in the city.
Creative coalition Chester Culture met for the first time last week and the campaign has already attracted support on Twitter.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has unveiled plans for a £40.5 million theatre on the former Odeon site.
Featuring an 800-seat theatre, a 200-seat studio theatre, two studio cinemas along with cafés, bars and the city’s library, the complex is scheduled to open in 2016.
But the project suffered a blow when the Arts Council turned down the council’s bid for £5m in funding .
Andy Tabberer, who organised last week’s meeting, hopes the action group will be able to help turn the ambitious vision into reality.
Theatre project director Graham Lister attended the meeting at Kash Tap Rooms in Brook Street, along with councillors, council officers, theatre groups, film-makers, artists, performers and venue owners.
Cllr Samantha Dixon, who represents the city centre, was among those in attendance.
She said: “Last week’s meeting was an excellent start to what I hope will be a really productive way of developing Chester’s cultural vision.
“This is about something more than bricks and mortar – it’s about people, talent, hard work and creativity.
“The meeting which Andy put together so well showed that there was plenty of that on offer and I’m really pleased to have been able to be part of it.”
Mr Tabberer said initial ideas for the action group included setting up a website to promote and advertise events, help with bids for arts funding and working with the council to support and showcase existing arts and culture groups.
Another meeting is planned for next month and regular updates will be posted on the Twitter account, @Chester_Culture.