£1.5million cash injection into Gloucester’s culture scene

Gloucester has secured £1,489,300 funding from the Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Place Scheme to help put art and culture at the heart of the city. 

This grant will support an ambitious project led by Gloucester City Council. It’s purpose is to make the city a great place to live, work, play and visit by promoting health and wellbeing, developing civic pride and making the most of the area’s rich heritage.

The funding will be used to address some key social and economic challenges in the city, notably the need to provide opportunities for young people and ensure no one is left behind.

A focus for this funding will be to make sure that communities are at the core of the projects. The public will be asked what activities they’d like to see happen in the city, making sure they follow their cultural interests, passions and vocations.

Cllr Lise Noakes, cabinet member for arts and culture at Gloucester City Council, said: “Gloucester is proud of its past and ambitious for its future and this fantastic vote of confidence from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England is a real boost.

“There is a huge amount of popular, creative and innovative work going on in Gloucester – artistic, cultural and heritage-focussed – this significant grant will help us do more, do it better and do it quicker than we ever hoped when we launched the City’s Cultural Vision and Strategy a year ago.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: ‘This is a brilliant result for Gloucester’s cultural, community and civic organisations.

“It is well-deserved recognition for their determination to transform their individual offers into a powerful shared voice that will help make a step change in how they work together in order that arts, culture and heritage contribute more to meeting local, social and economic objectives.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Full of historic landmarks, beautiful spaces and creative communities, Gloucester’s culture is an integral part of everyday life. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the city’s proud past is set to inspire a strong and ambitious future for economies and tourism and open up opportunities for people of all ages to improve their wellbeing, prospects and sense of place.”

Gloucester is one of 16 places across England to receive a grant from the Great Place Scheme, a £20 million initiative inspired by the Government’s Culture White Paper.

Public encouraged to have their say on changes to Joint Core Strategy

Members of the public are invited to have their say on changes to the draft Joint Core Strategy.

The Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy (JCS) is now at the stage of main modifications, and is out for public consultation until the end of the day on Monday, 10 April 2017.

The new version of the strategy includes proposed land at Twigworth for 995 houses and the removal of the site at MoD Ashchurch, following an announcement by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in October 2016 that it would need a significant portion of the land for at least 10 years.

It also includes plans for a site at West Cheltenham to support 45 hectares of employment land for jobs in cyber security and related high technology industries and 1,100 new homes. In addition, an allocation of 620 homes at Winnycroft in Gloucester is identified as an urban extension to the city.

All comments received by the deadline will be forwarded to the JCS Inspector and further hearings are scheduled for the summer (dates to be confirmed) to discuss these changes.

To access the consultation and supporting information, please visit www.gct-jcs.org

Hard copies have also been made available at all three council receptions and all local libraries.  A full list of locations is available on the website.

In addition, the Joint Core Strategy team is holding public open events at the following locations (reflecting the new sites which are part of the main modifications) where officers will be available to answer your questions.

Date / Time Location
Tuesday 7 March

Open 1pm – Close 5pm

Gloucester City Council Offices – Reception

Herbert Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EQ

Saturday 11 March

Open 10am – Close 3pm

Cheltenham Regents Arcade, High Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1JZ – (joint event with the Cheltenham Local Plan Consultation)
Monday 13 March

Open 3pm – Close 7pm

Norton Village Hall, Norton, GL2 9LI
Tuesday 14 March

Open 3pm – Close 7pm

Hesters Way Community Resource Centre, Cassin Drive, Cheltenham, GL51 7SU (1st Floor) (joint event with the Cheltenham Local Plan Consultation)
Monday 20 March

Open 3pm – Close 7pm

Tewkesbury Town Hall, High Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5AL


Gloucester Scouts have a District Commissioner Vacancy

the closing date is 31st March

Have your say on the Gloucester City Plan

On January 16th 2017 Gloucester City Council is launching a public conversation on its ‘city plan’.

The city council is asking members of the public to have their say on what areas in the city have potential for development, what the developments should be for and what criteria they would need to meet.

The draft ‘Gloucester City Plan’ delivers the Joint Core Strategy at a local level and sets out draft policies that reflect local issues and opportunities in the city.

The plan looks at areas in the Gloucester that would be appropriate for development and growth to ensure that the council grows the city.  A possible 23 sites across Gloucester that would be suitable for development are outlined in the plan.

A further 70 policies that protect the environment and make sure that new developments help our communities and support what they want.

The council is asking its partners, businesses and local residents what they think of the possible sites and policies in the plan and if there are any others that could be considered.

The consultation is six weeks long, ending on 27th February 2017. An online version is available on the city council website www.gloucester.gov.uk/cityplan.

Hard copies can be collected from council buildings and local libraries and five public events are being held.

Cllr Colin Organ, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “It’s really important that we hear from as many people as possible on this consultation. Council officers will also be travelling around the city asking local communities to talk to us.

“Development is essential to the growth of the city, but it should also serve the needs of the community.”

The Best Bar None awards are back

For the second year in a row, pubs, bars and clubs in Gloucester are competing to receive national recognition for their commitment to improving the city’s nightlife experience.

After winning the ‘National Best New Scheme’ award in 2016, Gloucester is hosting the Best Bar None awards for the second time.

On Tuesday 17th January Gloucester City Council, and its partners in Safer Gloucester, is hosting its nationally recognised awards ceremony at Kingsholm Stadium.

The black tie event is starting at 7pm and will see pubs, bars and clubs in Gloucester compete to receive recognition for their work to make the city a safer place at night.

Applications for the awards opened in July and more than 18 submission were made. Safer Gloucester officers assessed each application to see which ones reached the accredited standards set by the national best bar none association.

The categories within the awards include, best chain pub, best independent pub, and the best small local pub. A full list can be found here: www.safergloucester.co.uk

In order to win its category, each establishment must have demonstrated how it has gone above and beyond to comply with the licensing regulations, support public safety and prevent crime and disorder in Gloucester over the past year.

Best Bar None is a nationally recognised award scheme which aims to reduce alcohol related crime and disorder, help licensed traders to build relationships between themselves, the police and local authorities, and to recognise good practice.

Last year, Safer Gloucester initiated Best Bar None as part of the NightSafe commitment to improving nightlife in the city centre.

Cllr Jennie Watkins, deputy leader of Gloucester City Council and chairman of NightSafe Committee, said: “The Best Bar None awards were a great success last year and I was thrilled to see so much interest from local businesses again this year. It really does go to show we’re all pulling together to make the city an even safer place to be at night time.

“We are delighted that our licensed premises in the city have a responsible attitude to safe and sensible drinking. It’s fantastic that Best Bar None will reward them for their efforts.”

The Safer Gloucester Partnership formed the NightSafe in 2012 and includes representatives from Gloucester City Council’s community safety, licensing and city centre teams, Gloucestershire Constabulary; Gloucestershire County Council, councillors, local universities, Licensed Victuallers Association and taxi trade.

Gloucester’s got a brand new bag for New Year

Gloucester City Council wants to remind residents that from the middle of January people will be able to recycle corrugated cardboard, perfect for getting rid of present packaging.

Gloucester residents will be able to recycle corrugated cardboard at home for the first time from January 2017. New reusable blue recycling sacks are being delivered to homes during the first two weeks of January, on collection day and will be placed in green recycling boxes, so it is important boxes are put out during this time.

The new blue sacks can be used from 16th January. Collection day calendars were sent out in November advising residents that their collection day may have changed.

The new and improved recycling scheme means residents will now be able to recycle corrugated cardboard, mixed plastics, textiles and shoes, including pizza boxes, packing boxes, yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic fruit and vegetable trays and old clothing which is not suitable for charity shops. This is in addition to the current collection of glass, cans, paper, batteries, cartons, aerosols, plastic bottles and food waste. The change is as a result of a public consultation with residents earlier this year when Gloucester City Council asked what people would like to change about waste and recycling in the city.

Recycling collections, including food waste, will continue to be collected weekly, but residents should double check their calendars as their collection day may have changed.

If residents live in a flat that has communal recycling bins, the way their recycling is collected won’t change at the moment, but the day their collection is done may have changed and they should check their collection calendar.

Households who feel that an additional recycling box is needed can order it online at https://forms.gloucester.gov.uk/recyclingbox/. For any other container orders or enquiries please e-mail heretohelp@gloucester.gov.uk.

Cllr Richard Cook, cabinet member for the environment at Gloucester City Council, said: “We are continually looking at ways to work more efficiently, look after the environment and reduce the amount of waste Gloucester sends to landfill.

“I am really pleased that soon homes will be able to recycle even more and I would urge everyone to get involved, especially those that may struggle with overflowing waste bins.”

Gloucester bus station hub – update

Gloucester’s new bus station hub is continuing to take shape this month as demolition of buildings has been completed and the archaeological dig begins.  

Gloucester City Council is currently on schedule for the build of its new bus station hub in the city centre. Since the necessary demolition has been completed, the resulting rubble has now almost been cleared.  

New scaffolding is being erected so that the exposed end wall of Grosvenor House can be weather proofed with new cladding. The remainder of Grosvenor House and Bentinck House are due to be demolished in a later phase of the Kings Quarter plans, on which public consultation will take place this summer.

The archaeological dig, which will be done by Cotswold Archaeology, will begin from 27th June. Cotswold Archaeology has a history of working with the City Council including at Blackfriars. Depending on the amount of rainfall, the dig should only take between two to three weeks.

Cllr Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Ahead of the archaeological dig beginning, I am really pleased to see how much progress has been made on site so far.

“The regeneration of our city centre is a key priority for the city council and something I feel passionately about. The bus station is a hugely important part of this, and I hope it will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the heart of our city.”

The City Council secured £6.4 million of grant funding from central government through GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership and Gloucestershire Local Transport Board towards the cost of building the new bus station. Plans for the new hub include a modern fully enclosed concourse, 12 bus bays, a manned ticket office, electronic timetable displays, a new cafe and CCTV.  

Whilst the construction work is being carried out, the existing bus station will remain fully functioning and existing bus routes and stops are not expected to change. 

Coach Trip to London and Houses of Parliament

Abbeydale Conservatives are running a Coach Trip to London and Tour of  Houses of Parliament on Monday July 11th

for more information see the events page

New Kings Walk owner to invest five million into Gloucester city centre

Today Gloucester City Council can announce that Kings Walk shopping centre has been purchased by Vixcroft, who plan to invest £5 million into improving the centre.

Plans to regenerate Gloucester’s city centre have been well underway this year with the new bus station on-site and plans unveiled for improvements to the railway station and the wider Kings Quarter area. Today the next step for regeneration of this area of the city centre can be announced which sees the ownership of Kings Walk shopping centre transfer to Vixcroft from Aviva.

The new owners have a successful track record when it comes to town centre regeneration and plan to invest significantly into improving the shopping centre to help create a brighter future for Gloucester city centre.

In addition to purchasing the shopping centre, Vixcroft have expressed a willingness to work with the city council, and to invest significantly, to deliver the revised Kings Quarter scheme.

The future of the Kings Walk shopping centre plays an integral part in the Kings Quarter regeneration. Plans for the scheme are still being developed, with public consultation due to take place this summer, but proposals include a new indoor market, a new multi-storey car park, a variety of restaurants and shops, some residential development and a hotel.

Local architects are currently working on the master planning for a revised Kings Quarter, which takes into account new plans emerging for the railway station, its car parking and pedestrian connections between the station and the city centre.

Leader of Gloucester City Council, Cllr Paul James, said: “We are grateful to Vixcroft for the confidence they have shown in the Gloucester and its future by making such a substantial investment. 

“Vixcroft’s interest in the wider area offers us a way of bringing forward the Kings Quarter scheme more quickly than we otherwise would have been able to.  With the bus station now on site and a new master plan guiding the way forward, we can really start to give this area of Gloucester the transformation it desperately needs.”

Daniel Carter, Chief Executive of Vixcroft, said: “We are making a significant investment in Gloucester because we have seen the progress that has been made in recent years and we recognise the great potential the city has. The council has strongly welcomed our interest in an integrated project, and we want to move on this project at pace. After some thorough public consultation we want to press ahead with making these improvements.

Our plans will enhance the attraction of the city centre to visitors, shoppers and residents.  I am grateful to the city council for their positive response and I look forward to working with them in the months ahead to deliver a transformation of this important area of the city.”

Martyn Chase, of Stanhope, added: “The climate for delivering retail-led schemes has been challenging in recent years and the emerging revised scheme reflects how the market has changed over that time. We welcome working with Vixcroft to achieve a joined up solution for Kings Walk shopping centre and Kings Quarter. The council’s new master plan has the potential to bring forward a scheme as an early stage. The parties will continue discussion to explore the way forward.” 

Thank you Abbeymead and Abbeydale

Thank you to everyone that came out and supported both Laura Pearsall and Gordon Taylor for Abbeymead and Andrew Gravells and Collette Finnegan for Abbeydale on Thursday… we  look forward to representing Abbeymead and Abbeydale on Gloucester City Council for the next four years with Paul James and the Gloucester Conservatives team. we will do our best to keep Gloucester on the up. 

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