AN empty retail unit in Chester city centre will be transformed into a pioneering pop-up tourist attraction in time for the October half-term holidays.

Chester Race Company has agreed to donate 22 Bridge Street, formerly the Pro-cook shop, which will soon showcase some of the county’s best artists, storytellers and entertainers.

Destination Chester, a network of the city’s tourism partners, is working with Storyhouse and Wild Rumpus to create a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction.

It is part of the 'Chester Designed By Nature' campaign, the brainchild of the Destination Chester partnership.

Named The Nest, it is set to launch for the October half-term holidays and will feature lantern making, storytelling and art workshops for families to enjoy. After half term, the space will host talks, workshops and events aimed both at adults, young adults and families.

Jen McAndrew, Destination Chester project manager, said: "We are so delighted with the Race Company’s support.

"It is this sort of initiative – using empty prime retail space – that will help us overcome the challenges of the pandemic.

"The Nest is just the start of the year’s programme. We are certain it will boost the city’s footfall, support businesses and grow Chester’s stature, taking a creative approach to tourism that echoes the city’s wonderfully independent spirit."

The Nest is set to be designed by Rachel Shore, from Wild Rumpus, the award-winning events company behind the ‘Just So’ festival and Chester Zoo’s lantern parade. It will be designed sustainably, with a preference to recycled and upcycled materials.

Chester Race Company is also part of the Destination Chester network and is donating the premises for the new attraction, until the end of November.

Marco Garavello, finance director of Chester Race Company, said: "We’re delighted to be part of this. The network has been designed so we can all work together to create more of a buzz around the city. Hopefully, the brilliant nature of our location on Bridge Street will drive more footfall to the city and drum up interest in this great project."

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Regeneration said: "Destination Chester is a really exciting collaborative network, working hard for the good of the city.

"This ‘one city’ approach helped Chester win ‘Staycation City of the Year’ this year, and the network’s dedicated group of members is committed to ensuring that Chester continues to develop unique and quirky experiences to maintain our position as a top regional, national and international visitor destination."

The Nest is being funded by the ERDF ‘Welcome Back Fund’ which is managed by Marketing Cheshire on behalf of Destination Chester and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Nicola Said, commercial director at Marketing Cheshire, said: “Destination Chester partners have come together with a focus of getting people back into Chester and to showcase it as a great place to visit, building on its Staycation City of the Year status.

"The Nest is a great example of how we are working together to do this, providing a great space for families to come into the city and enjoy a range of activities, adding to the many fantastic opportunities available to people visiting the city.”

For more information on The Nest and other upcoming city centre events, and .

The Nest will launch on October 23 and be open every day during half term from 11am-3pm.