Chester - Economy

Economy

Chester's main industries are now the service industries comprising tourism, retail, public administration and financial services. Many domestic and international tourists visit to view the cities landmarks and heritage with a complimentary benefit to hotels and restaurants.

The city's central shopping area includes its unique Rows or galleries (two levels of shops) which date from medieval times and are believed to include the oldest shop front in England. The city has many chain stores, and also features an indoor market, a department store (Browns of Chester, now absorbed by the Debenhams chain), and two main indoor shopping centres: The Grosvenor Shopping Centre and the Forum (a reference to the City's Roman past). The Forum, which houses stores and the indoor market, will be demolished in the Northgate Development scheme to make way for new shopping streets, a new indoor market, an enlarged library, a car park and bus station, and a performing arts centre. There are retail parks to the west and south. Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and Broughton Retail Park are near the city.

Chester has a relatively large financial sector including Bank of America, formerly MBNA Europe, NFU Mutual, HBOS plc and M&S Money. The price comparison website moneysupermarket.com is based over the Welsh border in Ewloe. Chester has its own university, the University of Chester, and a major hospital, the Countess of Chester Hospital, named after Diana, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester.

Just over the Welsh border to the west, Broughton is home to a large Airbus UK factory (formerly British Aerospace), employing around 6,000 staff, where the wings of the Airbus aeroplanes are manufactured, and there are food processing plants to the north and west. The Iceland frozen food company is based in nearby Deeside.

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