Kier will work with architect Bennetts Associates on a design and build contract to transform the former Odeon Cinema on Northgate Street into a new 5m theatre, library and cinema complex.
Kier begins work on site in February 2015, compelting 19 months later, according to the programme. It will employ 250 people at any one time on site and a total of 1,500 throughout the contract period.
Bennetts, previously appointed in June 2012 to produce concept, will begin detailed design work almost immediately.
Bennetts associates director Simon Erridge said: “This is the most significant new building project in Chester for decades. Chester’s brief is incredibly imaginative, demonstrating that it is possible for redundant buildings to be transformed and regenerate the cultural and economic life of our city centres.”
The 800-seat theatre will be housed in a new building, linked to the existing structure by open foyer spaces. The art deco Grade II listed Odeon itself, built in 1936, is to be restored and converted into a city library, with a café, study spaces and a 120-seat screen located on the former cinema balcony.