A cabinet minister visited two of Chester's biggest success stories on a whistle-stop tour of the region.

John Glen MP, minister for arts, heritage and tourism in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, toured the city's Storyhouse cultural centre on Thursday (October 26) before heading to Chester Zoo.

Mr Glen was joined by Sally Balcombe, the CEO of Visit Britain.

His arrival at Storyhouse came in the week it was revealed that the £37m arts complex had welcomed 285,000 people through its doors since opening in May. The figures have surpassed all expectations and put the centre on course to hit an end-of-first-year total of 684,000 visitors.

After his tour of Storyhouse, Mr Glen was taken to the zoo's Island’s exhibition to find out how investment and redevelopment is helping to create a more competitive tourist offer.

The £40m redevelopment features animals native to South East Asia and looks at the zoo’s conservation work around the world. 

Island’s opened in summer of 2015 and recently underwent an extension, which opened in August, to provide habitats for sun bears, tapirs and rare Asian songbirds. Since it opened in July 2015, Island’s has had 4.4 million visitors.

Mr Glen said: “Chester has so much to offer visitors from both home and abroad. From the Roman ruins and the Medieval Cathedral to the beautiful surrounding countryside, Chester has something for everyone.

“I want more international visitors to travel beyond London and explore the whole of the UK and it’s been fantastic to see some of Chester’s world-class attractions.”