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New hoarding panels at City Campus are honouring the past and celebrating an exciting future

University of Gloucestershire’s City Campus development has reached another significant milestone, honouring the location’s famous history and celebrating its exciting future.

Attractive graphics have been erected on the site’s hoarding panels around the City Campus building telling the story of its memorable past as a retail destination, as Bon Marche and then Debenhams, and its current transformation by the University into a modern centre for teaching and learning and community partnerships.

As the panels were being put up, another momentous moment was reached in the redevelopment of the iconic building – a major focal point for the community for 80 years – as the prominent ‘Debenhams’ signs adorning the King’s Square and Northgate Street sides of the building were carefully brought down, and will ultimately be replaced by new ‘University of Gloucestershire’ signs.

The Debenhams signs have been retained by the University, with a view to refurbishing them for incorporation into the interior design of the new campus, alongside other memorabilia from the former department store when it opens to staff and students – mainly from the School of Health and Social Care – in the 2023-24 academic year.

The Debenhams sign, which will be retained by the University, being taken down

Lou Overton, the University’s City Campus Project Manager, said: “We know how much the building means to the local community, so we’re pleased to be able share stories and photos from its history on the new hoardings, as well as providing more information about our exciting plans for City Campus.

“We hope the new hoardings will bring back some fantastic memories at the same time as highlighting how City Campus will play a vital role in both the regeneration of Gloucester city centre, working with partners for the benefit of the community, and in supporting the University’s ambitious plans for growth.”

The University of Gloucestershire announced in March 2021 that it had bought the Debenhams building and intended to redevelop the existing fabric of the building to create a vibrant new environment.

Recently, Gloucestershire County Council approved plans for Gloucester Library in Brunswick Road to be moved a modern space within the City Campus development, significantly improving the library space and increasing access to services in partnership with the University.

New facilities within the City Campus building will also include an Arts, Health and Wellbeing Centre, ‘The Store’, that will pilot ground-breaking therapies and interventions to improve community health and wellbeing.