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Historic agreement signed to pave way for £20million regeneration of Quayside and Blackfriars area of Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

Comments (6)

FOR decades it has become an increasingly derelict area of Gloucester.

But now, a historic agreement has been signed between Gloucester City Council and Gloucestershire County Council to pave the way for a £20million regeneration of the Quayside and Blackfriars area of the city.

The two councils have agreed to work together to develop sites across the area, which forms a key part of the historic city centre.

They will jointly fund the development of a masterplan, including the Gloucester prison site, as well as the county council’s Quayside site, and the city council’s Barbican car park site.

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Councillor Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said:“The continuing regeneration of Gloucester city centre is a key economic goal for the county as a whole.

“Unemployment may be falling – but that doesn’t mean we can be complacent about our work to promote this county’s economy.

“This deal will help us ensure that we get best use of this site, both in generating money for taxpayers, but also in helping to boost the local economy.”

Options for what could be included in the masterplan will be published in August 2015.

It is hoped that whoever buys Gloucester prison will also join the regeneration plan.

Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham outlined a vision for the prison site which includes homes, offices, a hotel, a courts complex and council offices last month.

Agents for the Ministry of Justice, which shut the 222-year-old institution, are currently reviewing bids and a major player in the redevelopment of Gloucester is understood to have submitted a bid.

Mr Graham said: “The Ministry of Justice has a £75million pot for investment of justice real estate that we could bid for because Gloucester’s courts are a mixed state.

“What we want to do times quite well with the MoJ investment plan.

“It is really good that the two council’s have agreed to work together on this area of Gloucester.”

Significant reductions in staff at the county council over the last two years has resulted in a reduction in the number of buildings the authority uses across the county.

Staff at Quayside House will shortly be relocating to Shire Hall.

Cllr Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, added: “The Blackfriars area is a significant piece of city centre real estate which has enormous potential to enhance the city’s economy.

“Almost all of the land in the area is in public ownership, which gives us a head start.”

The news has been welcomed by Gloucester’s Civic Trust, which says the area needs a breath of new life.

Hugh Worsnip, of the trust, said: “Thank goodness something is happening. This is an area of Gloucester which has been growing increasingly derelict for far too long.

“We welcome the agreement between the two authorities to develop their land, which is considerable in the area. We hope the plan would include replacing the Quayside Wing and the crown court and magistrates’ court, which are not in a good condition.”

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  • bdbear  |  May 17 2014, 8:25AM

    Of course they are both there, that is their jobs as politicians . What you are saying jemmywood is no labour politician would ever appear in the paper or on the news about the opening of anything I am sorry but what world do you live in . All politicians of ALL parties would have a photo opp at the opening of a bag of crisps if it got there photo in the local news . If you want to have a go at them on proper points fine. That we needed a master plan over seen by a good architectural practice 20 years a go for the whole of the city from the triangle to the docks .In stead because of ALL parties we have a right muck up , but if you look at Glos that is how it has always been . After these elections who ever is in power will still make a muck up of the city .

  • JemmyWood  |  May 17 2014, 8:11AM

    Jas37, I don't see any political point scoring on this thread at all. i see legitimate comments from residents of Gloucester, the electorate... You know... Those people that actually vote. You can call it poltical point scoring if you wish, but local politicians should ignore them at their peril. The electorate have long memories and don't forget past 'glories' of messers James and Hawthorne..... and they should both be VERY wary when they are up for re-election.... Especially Hypocrite Hawthorne.

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  • jas37  |  May 16 2014, 10:57PM

    It's perhaps sad that those making comments here appear far more interested in taking any opportunity to score Political points than they are in our City's regeneration. No-doubt many of us will remember this and take it into account when reading future comments from these posters.

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  • MikeMorrisOBE  |  May 16 2014, 9:24AM

    That map's upside down. What a considence. Two local Tory's being on site at the same time as a Citizen photographer. Is there aelection coming up?

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  • Lecorche  |  May 16 2014, 9:04AM

    Trust a Conservative as far as you can throw Kings Square.

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  • SELINA30  |  May 15 2014, 4:43PM

    Has the Citizen dispensed with the services of the artist who did all of their "artists impressions" of what the Tory councils were planning? Its the only way to see what the Tories are talking about because nothing ever comes to fruition.

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