Gloucester City Council has announced a bid for £12.5 million of Levelling Up funding for a new scheme to transform the area around the Eastgate Shopping Centre into a vibrant new garden quarter.

Greyfriars Quarter will see part of the shopping centre including the market hall refurbished ​and repurposed and spaces constructed for community activities, a new market and food hall, as well as a park and gardens, all set within the grounds of the 13th century Greyfriars monastery.

If successful, the bid would enable the market hall to be ​relocated to another part of the Eastgate Shopping centre, with a contemporary new design that would see it open up onto a landscaped courtyard garden.

The current market hall would be renovated to be a multi-purpose performance space for dance, music, fitness, cinema, community, and leisure events.

It would be linked to a unique covered outdoor space with an orangery and outdoor dining area within the remains of the beautiful Greyfriars Monastery.

The plan also includes a proposal to create serviced apartments, and flexible workspaces within the refurbished 18th-century house adjacent to the friary.

The scheme would also see the construction of a new urban park, outdoor gym, play area and cycle hub.

Gloucester MP Richard Graham said: “This additional opportunity is a clear statement of intent by the government to help restore our city centres into great places to live in and visit. It’s a great opportunity for us in Gloucester to re-imagine the Eastgate Market, re-roof and re-use Greyfriars creatively and bring both the Greyfriars Bowling Club and Addison’s Folly back to life and public use, for the first time in a generation.

“Our bid will turn this underappreciated corner of Gloucester into something to be proud of, for residents and visitors, with economic, job, health and environmental benefits. It cannot start early enough – and I will be doing all I can to persuade the government of this bid’s merits.”

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “The Greyfriars Quarter would continue the council’s commitment to regenerate Gloucester’s city centre and would complement the multi-million-pound regeneration projects already taking place across the city.

“Greyfriars is designed to bring the community back into the heart of the city while making the most of our beautiful heritage with a thoroughly modern design.”

The bid follows the council’s previous successful bid to the Government’s Levelling Up fund last year, which saw it successfully granted £20 million.

It will also enable the redevelopment of the University of Gloucestershire City Centre Campus in the former Debenhams, the renovation of the Fleece Hotel and the creation of The Forge, a digital hub aimed at the cyber and knowledge economy as part of the £107 million Forum development.

The bid is also in addition to the £1.5m UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation to the city, which will be primarily used to support communities and places around the wider city area.

Image source: Gloucester City Council

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