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Retailers welcome Chester Unlocked

Retailers in Chester have hailed the start of ‘Chester Unlocked’ as a “massive success” as visitors and local residents flock to the city centre to explore what is claimed to be the world’s first citywide museum trail.


Retailers welcome Chester Unlocked

‘Hoot’s Route’, the first phase of the heritage programme, launched at the weekend with 30 businesses transforming themselves into mini-museums, each containing a never-before-seen artefact from Chester’s past.

Visitors follow an ancient map to see each of the artefacts which include Roman jewellery, medieval shoes, vintage sweet tins and Victorian perfume bottles, all placed across a variety of city centre shops.

Tim Edwards, owner of The Hat Place, said: "There’s been a real wave of excitement across the city centre building up to this launch and we’ve seen notable increase in footfall as a result since the weekend – it’s been a massive success.

“It’s a wonderful project to be part of and as well as helping to showcase the history of Chester, it’s making our shop visible to a whole range of new people that may never have stepped foot inside before.”

CH1ChesterBID, Chester’s Business Improvement District, and Chester-based Big Heritage are behind the Chester Unlocked programme and plan to unveil a series of other events later this year.

Rita Waters, CH1ChesterBID chief executive, said: "The opening weekend of Chester Unlocked has been a resounding success and the feedback from city centre retailers and the public has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Hoot’s Route is just the beginning – we’ve got so much more to come in the next few months including ancient mysteries, code breaking challenges and fringe events. Chester will be alive with history and we can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve got in the pipeline."


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