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Gloucestershire Business News

Tenders open for Forest's Five Acres site

Tenders have opened for the multi-million pound redevelopment of the Five Acres site at Berry Hill, near Coleford.

The Five Acres Site Redevelopment Project will provide a new build public leisure centre and will include the refurbishment of the adjacent Speedwell building for a mixture of community and educational uses.

Forest of Dean District Council, which completed the purchase of the site from Homes England for £1 in December 2021, is planning to create new leisure, enterprise, education and community facilities for the Forest.

Having been successful in its £20m bid to the Government's Levelling Up Fund in 2021, the £9 million-plus project is largely funded by the Levelling Up fund with a requirement to expend this by the end of March 2025.

In recent months the council has taken residents' thoughts on board over the development.

The council is keen to progress as soon as possible and opened the invitation to tender last week.

The deadline for tenders to be submitted is March 15 and the contract award date is May 15, with the contract commencement May 19.

Paul Hiett, deputy leader of Forest of Dean District Council and lead elected member on the project, said the public consultations had gone really well.

He said: "We've done this specific tendering process to give the opportunity for local businesses to tender which we think is fundamental to this project.

"All along from day one we saw the project as not just having a community leisure facility on the site but the whole project would help to regenerate the Forest area and people from the local area will be employed as contractors or sub-contractors and suppliers would be local.

"The Department of Levelling Up are using the Forest of Dean's Five Acres project as an exemplar of how to do a great Levelling Up project.

Cllr Hiett added that Armac, who cleared the site, put £170,000 back into the community by using local contractors.

Punchline says: "Punchline hopes that common sense will prevail and local contractors are used - keep the jobs as local as possible."

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