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Gloucestershire Business News

Council backs major investment for shopping centre

The former BHS store in Gloucester is to be transformed as part of a major investment in King's Walk Shopping Centre.

The store in Eastgate Street has been empty since the collapse of BHS in 2016 but now Gloucester planners have given the go-ahead for the regeneration of the premises.

The owners of King's Walk Shopping Centre, Reef Estates Ltd will sub divide the former BHS store to provide a class A1 retail unit over ground and first floor along with a new class A1/A3 cafe unit at ground floor and associated outdoor seating area.

Concrete artwork panels which were put up on the side of the building 50 years ago to depict the history of the city will be relocated, the façade will be refurbished and the building extended at ground floor over the highway with alterations to the existing canopy over Eastgate Street.

Not everyone is happy with the scheme. WH Smith, which has an adjoining premises, wrote to the Planning committee claiming it could reduce visibility and harm the commercial viability of its store.

But recommending approval of the scheme, city planning officers said it would enhance the appearance and character of the area and delivering additional retail floorspace in the city centre.

Peter White, centre manager of King's Walk Shopping Centre, said: "I'm really pleased to hear that the decision was approved and look forward to working with Reef on this project.

"We have been working hard behind the scenes to get the unit ready for new tenants and we welcome the new changes to the unit as these will really enhance Eastgate Street and King's Walk Shopping Centre.

"Discussions are still taking place with the landlord on who will occupy the unit and we hope to be able to announce this news very soon."

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