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Councils’ masterplan paves the way for university to grow in Gloucester

The county and city councils’ joint vision for a regenerated Quayside and Blackfriars, launched to investors and the media on Friday, creates an opportunity for the University to realise its ambition for growth in Gloucester.

The masterplan for the regeneration of 2.5 hectares of land in the city, was drawn up by Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucester City Council, working in partnership with GFirst and the university. The proposal for Quayside and Blackfriars – largely residential development – has the potential to create a significant number of jobs in the local area during construction and on a permanent basis, as well as opportunities for apprenticeships.

University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, said: “The university is committed to supporting growth in Gloucester. We are investing millions of pounds in our Oxstalls campus, with new specialised equipment for teaching and research, the launch of The Growth Hub last October in partnership with the LEP, and a new performing arts and events centre due to open this September. As set out in the strategic economic plan for the county, we have an ambition to integrate the activities of the university’s Business School with the Growth Hub at Oxstalls.

“So we see potential for more investment in university facilities in Gloucester in the coming years, working in close partnership with the City and the County Councils. This, coupled with the redevelopment of Blackfriars, will help make Gloucester an even more attractive place for students to live, study and work. We are looking forward to working with the City and County Councils and the LEP to support the regeneration plans for Blackfriars at the same time as we push forward with growth and investment at the Oxstalls campus, so that together we can achieve significant benefits for the wellbeing and prosperity of Gloucester.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Our ambition is to put Gloucester on the map as a vibrant city with opportunities to boost the local economy and attract more visitors. To do this we are working with GFirst to attract up to £135 million of brand new investment into the Quayside and Blackfriars sites. This masterplan marks the first step on that journey. It is an exciting time for the city.”

Cllr Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “The regeneration of this area has eluded the city for decades, but now we have the best opportunity yet to make it happen. These historic areas have significant importance to Gloucester linking the well-known local landmarks of the Docks, Cathedral and River Severn. The masterplan we will be unveiling is the starting point for determining how this area is transformed, but needs to be flexible enough to take account of market conditions and the views of our residents. Working together with the county council and institutions like the University of Gloucestershire we have the opportunity to do something very special for the city here.”