Chester is a small city in Cheshire, England and close to the country’s border with Wales. Known as the Fortress City of the Legion, the city was founded as a fort in 79 AD, and later became an important Roman settlement in Britain, as the Roman Empire expanded. Much of the Roman influence is still obvious today, and the city walls are the most complete in Britain. Many other cultures have influenced the city over the following centuries – one of the most popular attractions in the area is Tatton Park, with its Tudor Hall, Neo-Classical Mansion, and over 50 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. A large deer park and extensive Japanese gardens make the Park a popular venue for large shows and fairs every year. Victorian architecture has also had a strong influence on the city, and there are numerous historical buildings from the industrial revolution still visible in the area. The Grosvenor Museum houses many collections of historical artefacts celebrating the city’s rich history.
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Chester has a population of more than 120,500 inhabitants, and is the most populated settlement in Cheshire. Many of the expats living in Chester are connected with the University of Chester – which has a large number of international students who have come from more than 90 different countries. Nearby larger settlements of Manchester and Liverpool also have very established expatriate communities that have built strong cultural identities over many years and you can use the InterNations platform to get in touch with these communities. Furthermore, InterNations’ Expat Magazine is a great source of information if you want to find out more about living and working abroad. You can find articles on important issues such as international insurance and finance as well as cross-cultural communication. The InterNations community is a great way to communicate with other expatriates living around the world, with forums and discussion groups that can help you answer any questions you might have about moving to a different country – including to the United Kingdom.
The biggest industries in Chester are retail and tourism. The historical city attracts over 8.5 million visitors every year, and estimates are that the tourism industry’s annual worth to the area is more than £350m. The restaurants and hotels in the area employ about 10% of the city’s workforce, with a further 13,000 (20%) of working people being employed in the retail industry. Public administration is another major source of employment, and the city council is the single biggest employer in the city. Chester NHS (National Health Service) is the leading healthcare employer in the area, and the University of Chester employs over 1,400 staff. Manufacturing has declined in the area – as it has across the United Kingdom as a whole – but there are still major manufacturers such as BAE Systems with bases near the city of Chester, which employ significant numbers of people. Finally, finance is an important industry in the area, with many major financial institutions basing their UK operations in and around Chester. So expats working in Chester have a number of fields to choose from.