VIDEO: Works gather pace at £3.5m Gloucester Food Dock
By Mark Owen and Matt Hall | 8th September 2021
Punchline-Gloucester has been given a sneak peek at progress at the long-awaited £3.5m development in the heart of Gloucester.
Planning permission was first granted in 2016 to redevelop 23 - 15 and 27 - 29 Commercial Road, two derelict 19th century brick buildings which overlook Victoria Basin in Gloucester Docks.
The original plans submitted by L&R Group were altered in 2019 from five restaurants to 15 independent, food court style units with communal seating areas.
Developers Ladybellegate Estates, led by Ken Elliot and Sarah Mansfield, hope that their transformation of the site will create a 'new and exciting foodie destination with a dynamic mix of tasty, independently produced food with something for everyone'.
Mr Elliot, who is also co-founder of Gloucester Food Dock, said: "We wanted to breathe life back into these wonderful old buildings while reinvigorating the area to enable local people to enjoy the rare juxtaposition of a quayside venue in a city centre location.
"It's very important to us that these businesses are regionally based, supporting our vision for something that truly has its roots in the city, with its exciting and varied ethnic mix, and is at the heart of one of the best food producing regions in the country."
Once complete, the food units will be contained in a double decker arrangement to the rear of the building, each with a view over the dockside. A terrace will also be sited in between the units on the second level and the existing back to the buildings.
An additional access stairway to the dockside will also being added between the existing buildings, improving connections between the city and Gloucester Quays.
Although progress has been slow, not helped by Covid-19, Punchline editor Mark Owen was given the opportunity to venture behind the hoardings to see the leisure destination taking shape.
With exterior refurbishment nearing completion, Bath-based contractors H Mealing & Sons Ltd are now on-site beginning work on new-build extensions creating additional units for food operators. These works are due to be complete by Summer 2022.
"The varied sizes and specifications of the 15 units are expected to attract a range of operators from start-ups to more established local businesses looking for additional trading opportunities; occupiers will be selected for their quality of offer, creativity, visual appeal and interest," added Mr Elliot.
"We will also be offering flexible occupational terms with rents based on turnover - a real benefit to start-up or smaller businesses."
It is hoped the development could create up to 120 jobs once fully operational in Summer 2022.
Punchline said: "It's fantastic to see Sarah and Ken continuing their investment post-covid in the city and that they believe Gloucester remains the perfect place for the Food Dock to flourish."
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