£12.5 million plans to transform Gloucester’s Greyfriars Quarter unveiled

An ambitious scheme to transform an historic quarter of Gloucester city centre has been revealed, with a bid for £12.5 million of levelling up cash to make it happen now sitting with central government.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

In an anomaly due to part of northern Gloucester falling within Tewkesbury Borough Council’s borders, the city has been able to submit a second bid to the Government's Levelling Up Fund.

Spurred on by its successful £20 million bid to help transform the former Debenhams building, renovate the historic former Fleece Hotel, and construct The Forge digital hub as part of the Forum development, focus has now turned to the Greyfriars Quarter.

Backed by Gloucester MP Richard Graham, the Conservative-led city council said it hopes to secure a further £12.5 million to create an inner-city park and gardens around the 13th century Greyfriars monastery and transform part of Eastgate Shopping Centre – including creating a new market hall.

Graham said: ‘It’s a great opportunity for us in Gloucester to re-imagine the Eastgate Market, re-roof and re-use Greyfriars creatively and bring both the Greyfriars Bowling Club and Addison’s Folly back to life and public use, for the first time in a generation.

‘I will be doing all I can to persuade the government of this bid’s merits.’

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of the city council, said if the plans went ahead they would complement the ‘multi-million pound regeneration projects already taking place across the city, including the £100 million-plus Forum scheme underway around King’s Square.

‘Greyfriars is designed to bring the community back into the heart of the city while making the most of our beautiful heritage with a thoroughly modern design,’ said Cook.

Under the plans, the current market hall would be revamped to house a multi-purpose performance space for dance, music, fitness, cinema, community and leisure events.

This would be linked to a covered outdoor space with an orangery and outdoor dining area within the remains of the adjacent Greyfriars Monastery.

The new scheme also proposes creating serviced apartments and flexible workspaces within the refurbished 18th century house now part of the friary, as well as a new urban park, outdoor gym, play area and cycle hub.

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