Developer Reef Group and Historic England to join our April 'new districts' forum


The Forum, Gloucester (Courtesy Reef Group)


Future Cities Forum will be looking at Gloucester's emerging digital and cyber security quarter in our April 'new districts' discussion with Reef Group's Development Director, Esther Croft and city council leader Cllr Richard Cook..


Called The Forum, it will provide new homes, co-working and office space, leisure facilities, retail and F&B - creating a global reaching eco system where individuals and the collective can thrive. Situated in the heart of the city and adjacent to the main transport hub, residents and employees can enjoy urban culture with easy access to the Cotswolds.


Encompassing the Kings Walk Shopping Centre and King's Square, it is hoped The Forum will create a modern city destination, with a new digital campus that regenerates the wider city.


Esther Croft said:


'It is set to be one of the UK's first truly integrated digital communities, with the space and infrastructure to create a seamless link between city centre living and working.'


Respecting the past is an important part of preserving the future says Reef Group. At The Forum, it is diverting the subterranean course of the River Twyer running through the site. The new route is being excavated by archaeologists. The ground has a rich medieval history and was last year identified as the location of the lost Whitefriars monastery, dissolved by Henry the Eighth in the 1500s. A rich seam of medieval finds, from structures to burials have been identified, documented and where appropriate, archived.


Historic England's Head of Region for the South West, Ross Simmonds, will be joining Esther in our April discussions and will be describing the importance of not only preserving the past but creating a sense of place for the community. He thinks that some of Gloucester's communities do not think the city centre has much resonance for them and that needs to change.


Some development around Gloucester Docks he says takes a focus away from the centre and the two do not at the moment join up well:


'It is Historic England's concern to create and preserve a sense of place in the centre of the city that people will value one hundred years from now. The high street is of particular importance and our work in Derby is a strong template for what can be achieved.'


Other contributors at our event include LDA Design's Tim South, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration & Climate Cllr Jim O'Boyle, Chapman Taylor's Adrian Griffiths, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham's Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan, and also Yoo Capital and CBRE - as we look at the evolving plans for regeneration districts in Coventry and west London as well.

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