Council reports on regeneration successes across Gloucester
The former Royal Mail building in Eastern Avenue and the former Kwik Save site on Black Dog Way are among a number of sites across the City where significant progress has been achieved in the past 12 months, according to an update published by Gloucester City Council.
They are detailed on a Regeneration ‘Hit List’ originally developed prior to Gloucester hosting the rugby world cup in 2015, which identifies sites in need of a facelift to boost the city’s image and economy.
The list includes buildings with unattractive frontages, those that have fallen vacant and are having a big impact on footfall and the look of the city centre, and those in need to regeneration but the owners require support.
The update, due to be considered by Councillors at today’s cabinet meeting, also includes the former Vodafone shop on Northgate Street, which has seen its frontage improved and is currently being marketed to tenants.
Progress looks set to continue. The list also includes the Grade II listed Tanners Building on Worcester Street, the former KCs nightclub in Quay Street and the dockside buildings on Commercial Road earmarked for up to a dozen food businesses. All three were granted planning permission for development this year and it is hoped that action on site will take place soon.
Also on track for redevelopment is the Grade I listed former Fleece Hotel on Westgate Street, which currently has a number of developers interested in bringing new life to the 15th Century Grade 1 Listed timber-framed inn.
Other success stories that are fuelling the massive regeneration taking place across the city include the student accommodation at Blackfriars. The first phase of 295 units is now occupied, with a second wave of another 200 bedspaces granted planning consent.
And Bakers Quays has seen its first phase delivered and now features 47 modern apartments, a 104 bed Premier Inn, Beefeater restaurant and Costa Drive-thru, with work ongoing to bring forward the next phase.
But sites at 67-69 London Road (former Fortis Insurance offices) and 100 Northgate Street (previously Remax Estate Agents) are singled out as buildings where the owners’ commitment to take action needs to be turned into reality.
Councillor Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “Our hit list reflects the fact that regeneration is about the smaller sites as well as the big multi-million pound projects. We have been able to make good progress by offering support, advice and encouragement to landlords and, in some cases, grants. Where we have not got positive engagement from property owners, the use of the council’s statutory powers, including compulsory purchase, remains an option. I’m pleased that we have been able to make progress with so many of the properties identified, but there is still more to do.”