A MILLION people have visited Chester’s Storyhouse in its first year, it has been revealed.

The new £37 million cultural complex will mark its success with a day of celebrations with the community on Friday (May 11).

Widely acknowledged as the most ambitious creative project the city has seen, Storyhouse is the only building of its kind in the UK unifying a cinema, library and theatre.

The high number of visitors means it is officially one of the UK’s largest cultural visitor attractions.

It has sold more than 180,000 tickets to theatre shows and events and had over 250 cinema screenings, and 30,000 cinema tickets bought.

Almost 150 community groups from across the borough use the complex as their home.

In its first year the library loaned 258,000 books and children’s book loans have increased by 50 per cent since Chester library moved to the venue.

Storyhouse has won several top awards including the Building Award for Best Refurbishment, the Brick Award for Best Public Building, was highly commended at the RICS awards and was nominated for Best Building at the Stage awards.

Andrew Bentley, CEO, Storyhouse said: “It is with enormous pride that we look back at the first year at Storyhouse. We’ve only been open for a year but feel Storyhouse has already had a huge impact on the life of Chester. The community has whole heartedly embraced the building’s spaces.

“We have some truly exciting plans for 2018 and beyond and more great reasons for people to visit and take part.”

During its first year, as well as its seasons of repertory theatre and touring productions such as Cilla, Evita, Blood Brothers, The Play That Goes Wrong and Frantic Assembly’s Things I Know to Be True, the cinema has screened a diverse film programme and Storyhouse has run a number of social impact events and festivals, including WOW in partnership with the Southbank.

Alex Clifton artistic director of Storyhouse said: “Storyhouse has made the city of Chester even more of an exciting place to live for artists, creatives and its communities.

“The building is fizzing with creative ideas and debates, people come from all walks of life to connect and tell their stories.”

Storyhouse celebrates turning one this Friday (May 11). There will be a performance of A Little Night Music, the Tony award-winning musical by Grammy winner Stephen Sondheim. Film screenings and a series of features across the building including performances by schools, choirs, acoustic singers, dance, storytelling and cake.

To find out more visit www.storyhouse.com