Council set to consider £107m budget for Kings Quarter regeneration
Gloucester City Council is being recommended to approve the £107m budget for the ambitious new digital campus called The Forum, which will transform Gloucester city centre and make it fit for the digital age.
The Council will meet on January 28 to discuss the proposals after the Council’s cabinet gave the go ahead yesterday for the agreement to go before the full Council.
If given the green light the plan will see development partners Reef Group asked to deliver the Forum, a vibrant social and digital campus for the South West that will act as a catalyst for an emerging digital and cyber security sector.
The Forum proposals include more than 125,000 sq ft of new versatile office space with a shared workspace club and an innovation hub designed for emerging cyber businesses and incubator businesses.
This will sit alongside a 131-bedroom four-star hotel, a 9,000 sq ft gym, restaurants, shops, bars and cathedral view apartments. As part of the 600,000 sq ft masterplan for The Forum, there will be a multi-storey car park, alongside over one acre of public realm and landscaping work.
If given the go ahead, work will start in spring on the first phase approved by the planning committee last week.
The wider regeneration of Kings Quarter was kick-started at the end of last year when local contractors EG Carter began work on Kings Square which is being given a facelift and will become a an outdoor entertainment space for performances and events.
And continuing at pace is the renovation work to develop Kings House into a cultural hub with an incubator for start up creative and cultural businesses as well as music studios, teaching rooms and performances spaces.
Also as part of the wider regeneration scheme are 26 affordable homes being built in Northgate Street which will be operated by a local housing association.
It’s anticipated that The Forum digital campus will attract a number of specialised digital and technology companies and see the creation of around a thousand new city centre jobs, which will boost the lunch time and evening economies and support local retailers.
The Council is working with Reef Group and partners to ensure that the economic, social and environmental benefits of The Forum are reflected throughout the community including training programmes, job opportunities and the delivery of the Council’s social value policy.
Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “Our long-standing vision to regenerate and revitalise this part of the city is well on the way to becoming a reality. This multi-million pound investment in Gloucester city centre will transform the city and make it into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors to enjoy as well as creating new jobs and attracting new businesses.”