Radical new plans revealed for dockside food quarter
By Bev Hawes | 8th November 2018
Developers want to radically change plans for a new waterfront food destination on the north side of Gloucester Docks.
Originally it was intended that five full scale restaurants would be built at the rear of listed buildings in Commercial Road on Ladybellegate Quay next to the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.
But this afternoon the property owners L&R Group said they wanted to alter the plan to create "Gloucester Food Dock" with up to 15 much smaller food businesses in "contemporary, modular steel units attached to an extension of the existing Grade II listed buildings, giving it an urban, industrial feel with terraces and views over the water"
The plans submitted to Gloucester City Council say the complex is designed specifically for independent, regional food operators, offering a variety of sizes and styles.
Several leading regional businesses are already in advanced discussions with L&R Group and property advisers JLL about taking on space in the new food destination.
L&R Group said: "Gloucester Food Dock will reflect recent changes in people's habits and preferences when it comes to eating out, including an increasing emphasis on smaller, independent and one-off outlets.
"Businesses that have been attracted to the dockside location, heritage building and showstopping view so far encompass Asian street food, charcoal grilled meats, coffee roasters, bakeries, craft beer and fish and chips."
L&R development director Ken Elliott said: "The food and beverage market has moved on from the large brands that have dominated many town centres and this provides an opportunity for Gloucester and the region to do something new and to celebrate the best of its brilliant range of quality, independent food businesses - which we are delighted to be gathering together at Gloucester Food Dock."
L&R operations director Sarah Mansfield said: "We are bringing together a group of energetic, creative and dedicated regional food businesses which share our vision to create an exciting new waterfront food hub specialising in tasty, independently produced food.
"Some will be very new and others more established, but they will be chosen because they complement each other, are dedicated to producing fantastic food and have a sense of theatre."
Daniel Milford, senior surveyor for property consultants JLL, added: "We are delighted to be working with L&G Group on such an exciting new scheme for Gloucester. The strong interest we've had from regional food operators already, plus recent successes of independent-focused food destinations, particularly in waterside locations, confirm that this is exactly the right way to go for Gloucester.
"It will bring a whole new offer to the city and exactly the link we've long been waiting for between the docks and the city-centre."
With the completion of the public space around Back Badge Square and the grand staircase at the north end of the docks, the new waterfront destination is seen as ideally suited to public events and performances, complementing venues and locations already in the city.
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