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Gloucestershire Business News

Team appointed for Gloucester Debenhams university campus project

The University of Gloucestershire has announced the team that will transform the prime location former Debenhams store into a city centre campus.

The tender to drive forward the design of the flagship campus project has been won by a national firm ADP Architecture. The firm, which has nine studios across the country and in India and Cyprus, has extensive experience of the UK Higher Education sector.

ADP Architecture will lead a multi-disciplined design team comprising Arup, appointed for structural engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering and sustainability consultancy services, and Hoare Lea, who will provide fire and engineering expertise.

Ridge and Partners LLP have been appointed as project managers and Coreus Group will be the cost consultants for the project.

The University of Gloucestershire announced it had bought the vacated Debenhams building in March. The site has been a major focal point for retail in the city for 80 years The plans will transform the existing building into a vibrant new development.

Once completed, the new campus will be a modern centre for teaching, learning and community partnerships; which the University says will play a vital role in both the regeneration of the city centre and supporting the University's ambitious plans for growth.

David Jovetic, Studio Director at ADP Architecture, said: "ADP Architecture is proud to be designing the city centre campus alongside the University of Gloucestershire and our multi-disciplinary team. Once completed, it will provide a new presence for the university in the heart of the city and breathe new life into a much-loved local landmark, creating a sustainable and innovative centre of excellence."

James Colthart, Central and Wales Regional Director of Coreus, said: "Coreus have always been passionate about providing inspiring spaces for young people to learn, and are thrilled to have been appointed as cost consultants for this exciting new city centre campus project.

"The regeneration of this famous building, located in the heart of the city, will provide the University with much needed space to expand as well as a create modern learning environment for its students. It's a project we are truly proud to be a part of."

Tim Leigh, Partner at Ridge and Partners LLP said: "Ridge and Partners LLP are delighted to be supporting the University of Gloucestershire on their forward thinking and ambitious new city centre campus development project.

"This project will not only secure the future of a much-loved and iconic building within the city, it will also provide a sustainable solution to meet the University's plans for growth in teaching and learning. We can't wait to get started and look forward to working with the University, their stakeholders and wider project team."

The development of the University's new city centre campus is part of the wider regeneration plans for the King's Square area, which is currently being transformed by the City Council.

'The Forum' digital quarter development, being led by Gloucester City Council in partnership with Reef Group, will create a mixed-use new build development of office, hotel and residential space close by. The adjacent Kings House is being repurposed as a cultural hub, and new student accommodation was recently completed nearby at Blackfriars.

Richard Jones, Associate at Arup, said: "We look forward to working on the University of Gloucestershire's new city centre campus development. Drawing on our team's expertise in sustainable building design we will work with ADP Architecture to transform the existing space into an efficient and stimulating teaching environment that helps its local community thrive. We'll apply leading engineering solutions to reinvigorate the building into a wellbeing focused teaching space for staff and students to enjoy for many years to come."

The University hopes that phase one of the project could open as early as September 2023, subject to statutory approvals.

Dr Nigel Wichall, Director of Estates at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "We're delighted to have put together a really strong team of experts from the South West to work with us on this next, exciting stage of the city campus project.

"It's an important milestone and we're very much looking forward to sharing our plans with the local community as they evolve."

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