The Noah’s Ark, a local icon on the roundabout outside Chester Zoo, has now returned to its home after a community project restored it to its former glory.
The ark was originally part of a Council submission at the Tatton Park Flower Show back in 2009 and was then placed outside the zoo for passers-by to enjoy.
The ark had been on the roundabout for many years where the entry road joins the A41 but became very tired and worn.
So, in July 2022 it was lifted from its location and transported to Changing Lives Together, a community-focused social enterprise and charity which supports people and organisations across the county.
The ark became an exciting project for their Community Shed group in Winsford (formerly known as Men in Sheds) who work on woodworking, woodturning and upcycling projects, as they share skills, socialise and make new friends.
The return of the ark has been arranged by the Council’s StreetCare and Highways teams, working with Dandy’s in Chester and the Council’s highways contractor, Colas, who provided transport and traffic management free of charge for the ark’s arrival.
During the summer, the Ark also had pride of place outside Chester Cathedral for the Chester Mystery Plays season.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Leader’s Champion for the One City Plan, Councillor Richard Beacham, who was involved in arranging the Ark’s makeover said, “I am really grateful to Community Sheds for stepping up to the challenge of restoring the ark. I know many people were sad when it was removed from the roundabout and it’s such wonderful news it is now back where it belongs, a much-loved symbol outside Chester’s amazing Zoo.
“This project has been a superb example of people coming together to work hard and make things happen. Without the support from all the organisations involved, the Ark would have been lost forever. Now it stands proud again, as a symbol of what we can achieve when we all work together.”
David Grocott, CEO at Changing Lives Together (CLT) said, “Everyone at Changing Lives Together is proud of the team effort that went in to restoring this much-loved landmark.
“The project was an unusual one for CLT but colleagues from across the charity rolled-up their sleeves to source materials, repair and paint, to ensure the structure was safe and attractive for future generations.”
Jamie Christon, CEO at Chester Zoo, said, “It’s been a wonderful team effort to restore the ark and we’d like to thank the Council and all of those involved for the part they’ve played in bringing it back to life.
“Over the years it has become something of a landmark in the Upton area of Chester and we’re sure many of our members and visitors will be pleased to see it again as they arrive to enjoy a day at our conservation zoo.”