More than 80 benches on The Groves have been given a makeover,
thanks to a new campaign to spruce up the city centre.
A group of volunteers from Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH),
the Skills Junction Flip Programme and Chester Renaissance Board
spent two mornings oiling the benches to prepare them for the
The event, led by Cheshire West and Chester Council's
Streetscene team, marked the launch of Chester Renaissance's 'We
Love Chester' campaign.
The campaign has been developed in response to feedback from the
One City Plan consultation highlighting city centre areas that
could benefit from a tidy-up.
Issues identified include weeds, litter in hard to reach areas,
peeling paint from street furniture, inconsistent signage and
eyesores such as overgrowth from buildings.
Chester Renaissance is now working with public, private and
voluntary sector organisations to identify how these could be
addressed through partnership working.
Chester Renaissance Chairman, Steven Broomhead, said: "We Love
Chester is a direct response to comments from local residents and
businesses who feel that a little housekeeping in some areas of the
city centre would make a big difference.
"The campaign is an excellent opportunity to strengthen links
between local organisations and the community and demonstrate the
pride we all have in Chester."
A programme of action days is currently being drawn up for areas
including Grosvenor Park, Water Tower Gardens, the Cathedral
surroundings and the canal towpath.
The volunteer teams will be easily recognisable thanks to
high-visibility vests bearing the We Love Chester logo.
Local Councillor Samantha Dixon said: "I would like to thank the
volunteers who helped at The Groves and made the first We Love
Chester event such a success.
"Such was their enthusiasm that the group has told us they would
like to come back to complete the remaining benches.
"It's given the campaign a really positive start and is a great
example of what we are trying to achieve with the help of the local
"I look forward to seeing the success of future events in We
Love Chester programme and the benefits it is sure to bring for our
Organisations involved in the campaign include Chester Voluntary
Action, Chester Communities Together, Cheshire West and Chester
Council, Chester Cathedral, British Waterways, West Cheshire
College, University of Chester, Cheshire Fire Service, Cheshire
Police, McDonald's and The Prince's Trust.
Lending a hand to the first We Love Chester event are (from
left) Councillor Samantha Dixon, volunteer Graham Turner, Ruth
Wojtan from Chester Renaissance, Steve Christie from Streetscene
and volunteer Jason Abley kneeling down).