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Gloucestershire Business News

Offices built from shipping containers next to Cheltenham Minster a step closer to being reality

The offices made out of shipping containers that have been proposed for a site next to Cheltenham's historic Minster have moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

The proposed innovation hub will contain flexible co-working space, a Growth Hub business support centre and performance and education space was submitted for planning in February.

The plans devised by developer Workshop Cheltenham and drawn up by town-based architects Edge Design Workshop are something of an eye-opener.

The hub will be set slap bang in the centre of Cheltenham, close to the town's library, The Wilson museum and Art Gallery and next door to Cheltenham Minster.

The land is currently occupied by the Chester Walk car park, but thanks to an agreement struck this week, Cheltenham Borough Council now has control of the site.

The borough council proposed a land swap of the Chester Walk car park and part of the St George's Road car park with Gloucestershire County Council, and it has been agreed.

It now means that the 20,000 square foot development, which would be split over two floors and use 31 shipping containers to give it a unique look can now progress.

Support is already in place from a number of important stakeholders, including the Cheltenham Trust, Gloucestershire College and the University of Gloucestershire.

Councillor Rowena Hay, member for finance at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "I'll be delighted to see this innovative project come to fruition, creating a cultural hub in the heart of the town centre.

"It will greatly enhance the local area and provide much needed opportunities for local start-ups and young creatives to spring-board their entrepreneurship all of which supports the council's place strategy where culture, creativity and businesses thrive.

''Additionally we'll see St George's car park benefitting from improvements including remodelling and resurfacing as well as better disabled parking provision."

Bruce Gregory of Workshop Group commented: "Workshop will deliver a unique innovation space for our current and next generation of start-ups and SMEs in the creative, digital and cyber tech sectors."

"The purpose built event space at the heart of the project will be run in collaboration with Cheltenham Festivals and provide a year-round programme of events, building upon the town's vibrant cultural offering."

Councillor Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for finance and change at Gloucestershire County Council said: "Workshop Cheltenham will significantly benefit Cheltenham's economy, bringing investment and job opportunities into the town for its growing population.

"I am pleased we can support the borough council with this exciting project and by relocating our frontline staff to St George's car park, which is next door to our offices, we will be able to improve our response time when vulnerable people are in need."

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