The Forum digital quarter in Gloucester’s King’s Square reaches key milestones

Two major milestones have been passed for the multi-million pound scheme, The Forum, expected to transform Gloucester’s city centre into a vibrant digital quarter.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

Phase one of The Forum development, being led by Gloucester City Council in partnership with Reef Group, has now been granted planning consent, with building work expected to start in the spring of 2021.

It will see the creation of 43 apartments with views to Gloucester Cathedral, along with retail space set to be occupied by Tesco.

Detailed planning for the second phase of The Forum has now also now submitted to the council.

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of the city council, said: ‘This is a very important milestone for this ambitious scheme.

‘Together with the rejuvenated King’s Square, and its attractive places to eat, drink and shop for residents and visitors, The Forum will bring in major occupiers and significant investors to the city and cement Gloucester’s reputation as a thriving and vibrant destination to work, live and visit.’

Esther Croft, development director at Reef Group, said: ‘Submitting Phase Two of The Forum for detailed planning is a hugely important step towards making our vision of a thriving new digital campus for Gloucester a reality.

‘It is set to be one of the UK’s first truly integrated digital communities, with the space and infrastructure to create a seamless link between city centre living and working.

‘Gaining planning consent for Phase One is also a significant milestone to reach, and we look forward to selecting a contractor with an aim to starting work on site in 2021.’

City construction firm EG Carter is already carrying out groundworks on the site. The project has also involved the expertise of Docks-based Quattro Design Architects.

The development will include more than 125,000 square foot of new office space, with a shared workspace club and an ‘innovation hub’ designed for emerging cyber businesses and incubator businesses.

The office space will sit alongside a 131-bedroom four-star hotel, a 9,000 sq ft gym, restaurants and bars.

Phases One and Two are part of the 600,000 sq ft masterplan for The Forum, which aims to build on Gloucester’s history of innovation.

Work also continues apace to enhance the Kings Walk shopping area. Major improvements including the new transport hub, improvements to King’s Walk car park and the demolition of Bruton Way Car Park have already been completed.

By Andrew Merrell

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