21 exciting things to look forward to in Gloucester in 2021

Some incredibly exciting things are happening in Gloucester in 2021 – from £100-million pound development projects and cool, new foodie destinations to some of the most popular events returning to the city. And we can’t wait…

With big development projects, pubs reopening and popular festivals scheduled to return, it feels like there has never been a more exciting time for Gloucester.

From dinosaurs for the kids and award-winning comedians performing in the park to and new foodie hotspots and anticipated new retail launches, SoGlos’s journalists have handpicking 21 things to get excited about in the city in 2021…

About the sponsor — Gloucester BID

Gloucester BID is a business-led and business-funded organisation designed to help companies and businesses in Gloucester.

This includes reinforcing that Gloucester is a fun, safe, clean, desirable place to live, work, shop, study and visit.

For more information, visit gloucesterbid.uk.

1. The Kings Quarter Development

The regeneration of Gloucester’s King’s Quarter is a huge project already underway, which will see this part of the city completely transformed – covering everything from installing accessible Changing Places toilets and many other improvements to King’s Walk Shopping Centre to the development of new affordable homes in the city centre.

A key part of the King’s Quarter development is the rejuvenation of King’s Square with £5m plans to transform the tired area into a vibrant open space for Gloucester’s community, including an events space and a return of the city’s famous fountains.

2. The Forum in Gloucester

A specific part of the Kings Quarter development is The Forum – described by Gloucester City Council as ‘a vibrant social and digital campus for the south west that will act as a catalyst for an emerging digital and cyber security sector’.

With a £107 million budget approved in February 2021, The Forum in Gloucester is set to include a four-star hotel, gym, restaurants, shops, office space and homes on the cards, as well as an innovation hub for emerging cyber businesses. The first phase of the work is expected to finish in 2022.

3. New Gloucester Primark opening

Bring on the brown shopping bags! Work has been underway to totally transform Gloucester’s former BHS store into a shiny new – and far larger – Primark store.

While no opening date has been confirmed yet, the haven for budget fashion is expected to open in King’s Walk potentially in the autumn of 2021.

4. Gloucester’s pubs re-opening

For many, the countdown is on to when they can return to their favourite beer garden in Gloucester.
Whether you’re after a craft beer or Aperol spritz, there isn’t much longer to wait until we can enjoy our favourite tipple in one of the city’s amazing venues with hospitality venues expected to be able to serve people outdoors from Monday 12 April 2021.

5. The Outdoor Inn opening at The Fleece

Four years after it was destroyed in a fire, revellers will be able to return to The Fleece Hotel in Gloucester’s city centre, when it reopens with an outdoor entertainment venue.

The Fleece Hotel is currently being rebuilt by Dowdeswell Estates and is teaming up with popular Cheltenham bar The Outdoor Inn to create an outdoor entertainment space. It will be used as a ‘community hub’; as well as providing lunchtime and evening dining; and evening entertainment, including a bar and acoustic music and comedy nights.

6. New music venue opening in Gloucester

Gloucestershire-based charity The Music Works has received funding which means it can go ahead with plans to create an ambitious new music venue in Gloucester city centre, located in King’s House in King’s Square.

Specifically aimed at young people, The Music Hub will have its own events space, two recording studios, two production suites, practice spaces and a sensory music room which will all be equipped with top of the range music technology.

7. Gloucester Cathedral reopening

In May 2021, Gloucester Cathedral will be welcoming visitors back into the historic landmark in the centre of the city.

There a host of exciting events planned for later in 2021, government guideline dependant, with details due to be revealed soon. Watch this space…

8. Music and comedy in Gloucester Park

Dubbed the ‘ultimate summer party’, popular boy band McFly is coming to Gloucester Park on Friday 23 July 2021, performing some of their best-loved hits such as ‘All About You’ and ‘Obviously’, with Capital Radio DJ Roman Kemp.

One of the biggest comedy events ever held in Gloucestershire is also coming to Gloucester Park on Saturday 24 July 2021, and will see big comedy names such as John Bishop and Ed Gamble take to the stage.

9. The return of Gloucester’s music festivals

With the likes of George Ezra and Ed Sheeran having performed there, Barn on the Farm is back at Over Farm for 2021, with the four-day event kicking off on Thursday 1 July 2021.

Witcombe Cider Festival is also returning to Brockworth in August 2021, with headliners set to include Joel Corry, Tinie (formerly Tinie Tempah), John Newman and Basement Jaxx.

10. A bright future for Gloucester’s Debenhams building:

Following the news that Debenhams in the centre of Gloucester had closed, speculation was rife about what will happen to it – with proposals including transforming it into retail and food and beverage units, creating studio space or retirement living.

In March 2021, it was revealed that the University of Gloucestershire is the new Debenhams building owner and plans to turn the 20,000 square metres of space into a new hub for learning. Phase one of the project could open as early as September 2023.

11. The redevelopment of Westgate Street

Gloucester City Council plans to use a £1.9 million Heritage Action Zone Grant to redevelop Westgate Street – one of the oldest and best preserved areas of the city – with the hope of attracting more people to live and work there.

The redevelopment will be used to make improvements and repairs to the many historic buildings on Westgate Street, including the 15th century timber-framed Fleece Inn which is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register. The project will be delivered over four years, from April 2020 to March 2024.

12. Gloucester sports fans returning to stadiums

If all goes to plan, Gloucester Rugby members could be back watching the Cherry and Whites play live at Kingsholm by May 2021. Rugby fans could be filling the 16,000-seater stadium when the new Premiership Rugby season kicks off in the autumn of 2021.

And rugby isn’t the only sport returning to the city, as football fans could also be able to return to the home of Gloucester City at Meadow Park for the new football season. The stadium reopened at the end of 2020 for the first time in 13 years following the floods in 2007.

13. Dinosaurs are coming to Quedgeley

As well as enjoying a spot of fishing, kids can get up close to dinosaurs with a new exhibition at Catch A Smile in Quedgeley.
Including huge sculptures of a Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops and even a baby Pterodactyl emerging from its egg, the exhibition promises roar-some fun when it opens in March 2021.

14. Orchard Street Markets are back

Alfresco shopping is back at Gloucester Quays when Orchard Street Market returns. The first weekend in May 2021 will see a whole host of stalls arrive at the outdoor market which in Orchard Square.

The market will arrive in Gloucester on Saturday 1 May 2021 and will be in the city for an extra date running until the bank holiday Monday 3 May 2021 – featuring everything from handcrafted products, food and drink and more by independent businesses from around the county.

15. Gloucester Canal towpath upgrade

Gloucester’s canal towpath is set to receive a major upgrade – with resurfacing making walking and cycling along the picturesque route even better.

Biodiversity improvement measures are also being taken to support local wildlife habitats, with work due to be completed this spring 2021.

16. Gloucester Guildhall Cinema reopening

Gloucester’s film fans will be thrilled that the Guildhall Cinema is set to reopen in autumn of 2021 after a major refurbishment.

17. Gloucester History Festival 2021

After the success of its pioneering digital festival in 2020, Gloucester History Festival is set to host two events this year – with an online event in April 2021 and the return of Gloucester History Festival from Saturday 4 to Sunday 19 September 2021.

It is set to explore the theme of ‘frontiers and pioneers’, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the USSR and vacuum cleaner inventor Herbert Cecil Booth’s 150th birthday.

18. Gloucester Goes Retro 2021

The city will be transported back in time when vintage car, fashion and music festival Gloucester Goes Retro returns in summer 2021.

After being cancelled in 2020, the festival will make a vibrant return to Gloucester taking place on Saturday 28 August 2021 and will see more than 500 classic vehicles fill the historic Gate Streets and Gloucester Docks.

19. Hartpury’s multi-million pound agri-tech centre

Hartpury University and Hartpury College continues to enhance its status as a world-leading centre for future agriculture with a £2 million-plus investment ploughed into Hartpury’s new Agri-Tech Centre.

The projects has been dubbed ‘one of the most exciting agri-tech projects in the country’ and will boast a new innovation and demonstration workspace for high-growth agri-tech sector SMEs, allowing them to explore, test, trial, research and develop products and enhance existing ones.

20. Work begins at Gloucester Food Dock

At the end of 2020 hoardings appeared around 23-25 and 27-29 Commercial Road which is set to home the highly-anticipated Gloucester Food Dock.

And although an opening date has yet to be announced, work has now restarted on the project to create 12 smaller, independent food court-style units with communal seating areas.

21. Tim Horton’s opening in Gloucester

The cult Canadian doughnut shop is hoping to open its first Gloucestershire venue in 2021, with plans to transform the former Pizza Hut restaurant on Eastern Avenue retail park in Gloucester into a Tim Horton’s.

If the plans are approved, there’ll be space to dine-in as well as a drive thru lane. We can’t wait for a French vanilla fix!

By Chloe Gorman and Maddy Richards

Follow SoGlos on Facebook and sign-up to the weekly SoGlos lifestyle newsletter for the very latest Gloucestershire news stories.

© SoGlos
Wednesday 24 March 2021

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