First it revealed it was the new owner of Gloucester’s former Debenhams store, then it took part in a successful £20 million bid for Government Levelling Up cash to convert the city centre building into teaching facilities.
The next question was when would the University of Gloucestershire expect to finish converting the former department store in Gloucester city centre and begin teaching students on-site?
It has now exclusively revealed to SoGlos that as a result of the boost from the Levelling Up win, that it is likely to open to students at the start of the academic year 2023, subject to planning approval.
Stephen Marston, vice-chancellor of the university, which has campuses in Gloucester and Cheltenham, said: ‘This funding means the university can now move ahead with even greater pace, confidence and determination with our major redevelopment of the Debenhams building to form our new City Campus.’
A share of the £20 million Levelling Up cash will also go to The Forge, a new hi-tech business centre and tech firm incubator, which is part of the £107m The Forum project, currently transforming the adjacent King’s Quarter.
A third beneficiary of Levelling Up cash in Gloucester is the ambitious redevelopment of The Fleece Hotel by construction firm Dowdeswell Estates and Gloucester City Council to create a new four-star 60-bed boutique hotel and shops on the Westgate Street site.
While Rod Jenner, managing director of Dowdeswell Estates, said he was waiting for a date on when the money would be made available and was unable to confirm a date for work starting at this stage, he described the bid win as ‘brilliant news’.
‘We can now restore the Fleece to its former glory and prepare it for the next stage in its life.’
By Andrew Merrell
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