Construction firm Kier will start work on the next phase of The Forum in Gloucester in March 2022, with the scheme expected to ‘transform’ the city centre and create jobs.
Construction firm Kier will start work in March 2022 on a 130-room four-star hotel, rooftop restaurant, bar, conference venue, 9,000 sq ft wellness centre and a member’s club in Gloucester city centre.
The work is phase two of Gloucester City Council and Reef Group’s The Forum project – a £107m digital and technology quarter adjacent to King’s Square.
Kier, which has a major base in Quedgeley, will also create an ‘on-site learning hub’ at Nem House in Clarence Street, adjacent to Kings Walk Shopping Centre, to provide training and job opportunities for the local community.
Andy Bolas, regional director for Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: ‘We look forward to delivering this flagship digital centre which is set to be a beacon for technology and cyber security businesses in the south west.
‘Over 85 per cent of the project team are based in Gloucestershire which means we will utilise our local knowledge, skills and supply chain partners to complete this project.’
Councillor Richard Cook, leader of the city council, said: ‘The appointment of Kier represents a significant milestone in bringing forward The Forum, and making a reality of our vision of Gloucester as a hub for the digital and cyber sectors.
‘As well as attracting new investment into the city, The Forum will be an inspiring and attractive place for residents and visitors, completely transforming what was formerly a tired part of the city.’
Gloucester-based construction firm E G Carter & Co Ltd is currently working on phase one of the project, which includes 43 one, two and three-bedroom apartments; cafés, bars, and restaurants at street level; as well as 5,000 sq ft of retail space to be occupied by Tesco.
In October 2021 the project won £5 million of government levelling-up fund money to support The Forge – described as a high-tech ‘incubator’ hub for fledgling businesses in the tech and digital sectors based at The Forum.
Completion of phase one is expected by autumn 2022 and the whole project by the end of summer 2024.
By Andrew Merrell