What are the plans for Kings Quarter?
The redevelopment will transform the area including the old bus station, Grosvenor House, Bentick House, Kings House and Bruton Way Car Park and Market Parade.
The plans include a replacement multi-storey car park, residential apartments, new commercial space, including offices as well as room for a hotel.
In total the scheme could provide up to 2,770m2 of commercial space, 411 new parking spaces including 23 disabled spaces, 1,824m2 of creative workspace, 5,447m2 for a new hotel, 4,165m2 of office space and potentially 142 new 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments.
Kings House could become a centre for a new hub supporting the start-up and growth of creative businesses. The move aims to provide support to the creative industries in Gloucester and make it easier for younger people to find employment in this growing sector. A food hub, on the ground floor of Kings House, is proposed, particularly aimed at local and start-up food producers.
Kings Square will stay as an open space but will be a more welcoming and visitor friendly area that can hold a wide range of events and performances. It will include modern and contemporary way finding signs and a water feature is being proposed, which is in response to clear support for one from earlier public consultations. The scheme also includes a big screen television.
There will also be at least two artistic commissions for some public art and seating areas. Also included within the planning application will be the initial proposals for Market Parade and the new ‘Cathedral View’ pedestrianised street linking Kings Square and the railway station as well as a refurbished and repurposed Kings House.
The majority of the planning application will be detailed apart from one of the plots bordering Market Parade and the current site of the Bruton Way Car Park. This is not to mean that the current car park site will not be part of an early stage of development. It is simply that the council are trying to maintain flexibility at this stage as the final mix of uses. We expect the planning application to be submitted by the end of this Autumn and we would like to be able to make a decision during next Spring 2019.
What happens when planning permission has been granted?
We are planning to focus on the construction needed to redesign the square first and following that we will be working hard to bring forward the new multi-storey car park and its associated commercial and residential uses as quickly as possible.
When will the car park, Bentinck House and Grosvenor House be demolished?
As soon as we have certainty regarding the planning position of Kings Quarter we will turn our attention to the right sequence of demolition for the existing buildings. It is likely that first parts to be cleared up will be the old bus station and parts of Grosvenor House.
Why are these plans necessary?
- This area of the city is one of the main gateways to the city via the bus and the railway stations so it is important that it reflects the changing face of Gloucester which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound regeneration.
- The Kings Quarter Regeneration scheme will be complemented by the new bus station and an improved environment around the railway station, including the subway to Great Western Road. The investment in Kings Walk Shopping Centre will also boost the overall economic impact of the planned improvements.
- The scheme reflects Gloucester’s cultural ambitions which could include a bid for City of Culture 2025. The new square is being designed so that it is suitable for hosting world class events and performances and is available to cultural organisations such as the Guildhall to extend their events space.
- The creative hub is also intended to help support Gloucester’s cultural development as it will be available to growing and start up creative businesses. The creative industries are one of the UK’s fastest growing and contributed a record £92 billion to the national economy according to the most recent figures.
- The nature of the high street as a destination is changing and this recognises that people now need other reasons alongside shopping to come into towns and city centres, such as events and activities.
- Feedback from a series of workshops held earlier this year with the local stakeholders, councillors, businesses, cultural groups and community saw requests for an area that was able to host events and performances.
When is work going to begin?
It is intended that work will begin in Autumn 2019.