Regeneration plans are shaping up for the city of Gloucester to become a major commercial and cultural hub for the region

14 May 2021

The city of Gloucester’s long-term regeneration is in full force with the range of projects set to bring millions of pounds of investment into the city. The various projects, many now underway or completed, are rejuvenating the city, making it a great place to live, work, study, visit and do business. Major development plans will drive new inward investment and demonstrate a huge vote of confidence for this historic city.

Gloucester’s programme of transformation has been underway for the past couple of decades, and the city continues to reinvent itself. Across retail, leisure, office and residential the city centre continues to create business opportunities to further its ambition to become a leading city within the region. It’s getting there.  Following massive investment in property, infrastructure and public realm the city is now entering a new chapter as key sites, such as King’s Quarter, are coming to the market.  The development of a major, new public square and event space, a new University campus, further residential apartments and new office space developments, which will include an innovation hub for the emerging digital and cyber sectors.

The historic city which nestles between the beautiful Cotswolds (AONB) and Forest of Dean is home to Britain’s largest inland port and has a rich history which dates back to Roman times. The impressive cathedral has hosted a king’s coronation, a monarch’s burial ground and more recently provided location shoots for film and television. The recent completion of the Cathedral Garden project has created a wonderful open green space complimenting the majestic entrance to the iconic building.

Gloucester is continually reinventing itself and innovating, now supporting new and emerging sectors like cyber, digital, creative and medical industries.  In recent years it has not lived up to its full potential in terms of new investment. Due to a historical lack of investment the city has dulled over the past few decades with the centre needing new investment, new infrastructure and quality commercial space.

Gloucester City Council and the GFirst LEP have a vision to transform the centre and have focussed resources on transforming the skyline, making it a city to be proud of, a city that embraces the vibrancy, beauty and commercial prosperity of the county.

The advancement of regeneration has bounced off the back of the successful Gloucester Dock and Quays development which now provides high quality retail, dining and commercial space in the historical docks area and creating one of the leading retail destinations in the South West. This rejuvenation has led to an increase in private investment, footfall, and property prices, delivering a great return on investment.

In September 2020, Gloucester City Council announced exciting plans for major redevelopment projects including the reinvention of Kings Quarter. This project was awarded £5 million worth of funding to transform Kings Square into a modern city centre square. With funding of £10.7million received from GFirst LEP, the plan also includes a major redevelopment of the railway station with the recent new bus station, an inspired entry point for visitors that opened in 2018.

Further development was announced in March with the Council’s approval of the transformative Forum project which will grandly stand between the station and Kings Square providing over 125,000ft of office space, an innovation hub, 4-star hotel, retail & dining space, car parking and cathedral view apartments.

The Forum is being developed by the Reef Group alongside the City Council, a leader in creating places with previous projects including Cavendish Square and the Tribeca Project in London.

The redevelopment of Kings Quarter and the Forum will open up the centre, linking the key city quarters and providing clear sightlines across to the stunning cathedral, a permanent reminder of the city’s important and vibrant history.

The investment underway includes the purchase by the University of Gloucestershire of the old Debenhams building. The university plans to transform the substantial Art Deco building into a prestigious learning campus for the medical and care sector right in the heart of the city centre. The multiple investment projects will create a new centre of gravity, and will contribute to the lively and cosmopolitan vibe of the city.

The new development projects will create over 1,000 jobs and present an attractive opportunity for potential investors and businesses. Gloucestershire has a broad range of first-class employers and workforce with the month of March 2021 witnessing over 26,000 job posts advertised in the region endorsing the strong bounceback economy. Gloucester is becoming the place to live, work and play.

To find out more about Gloucester’s inward investment opportunities visit https://www.investgloucester.co.uk/.

The GFirst LEP Inward Investment team is an ERDF funded project who work in partnership with Gloucester City Council and aims to facilitate investment, innovation and growth to the region, find out more here

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