Retailers report surge in footfall at Chester Unlocked launch

Retailers report surge in footfall at Chester Unlocked launch

‘Hoot’s Route’ – the first phase of the heritage programme – launched at the weekend with 29 retailers in the heart of CH1 Business Improvement District transformed into mini-museums, each displaying a never-before-seen artefact from Chester’s past. The 30th artefact and location remains a secret yet to be revealed!

Visitors to Chester are encouraged to follow the Hoot’s Route trail map to see each of the artefacts for themselves, including Roman jewellery, medieval shoes, vintage sweet tins and Victorian perfume bottles, all placed across a variety of city centre shops.

“We’ve got a beautiful ladies hat from the 1920’s on display and we’ve had people of all ages coming in to the store since the official launch last weekend,” said Tim Edwards, owner of The Hat Place on Northgate Street and one the BID members involved in Hoot’s Route.

“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.”

Chester’s Business Improvement District (BID) Company – CH1ChesterBID – 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.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to create something that celebrates the rich history of this city and encourages more people to visit all areas of the city centre. We want as many people as possible to pick up a map and explore the city centre for themselves to really experience what Chester Unlocked is all about.

“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”

For more details about the programme and to download the Hoot’s Route map, visit