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Gloucestershire Business News

Work set to start on Gloucester’s digital quarter

Work is due to start on the first phase of The Forum in Gloucester city centre, after Gloucester-based construction firm E G Carter & Co Ltd was awarded the contract.

The local company has been appointed by Gloucester City Council, which is developing the £85 million digital quarter with partners Reef Group. The initial phase will see 19 new apartments, along with 5,000 sqm of retail space to be occupied by Tesco.

E G Carter & Co Ltd will start construction work next week, and work is expected to be finished in summer 2022.

The firm was also appointed last year to work on the £5m development of King's Square to create an events space for live performances and entertainment.

Part of the reason E G Carter has won these contracts is because it successfully fulfils the council's social value policy. This requires any council-led contract worth over £50,000 to be awarded to companies aiming to achieve social benchmarks, including promoting local skills and employment.

Cllr Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "We are delighted to be able to announce the start of phase one and pleased to be working with E G Carter, especially due to their commitment to our social value policy, which aims to ensure large contracts benefit our local community.

"This project marks a significant milestone towards delivering The Forum, which is set to be a transformative scheme for Gloucester, helping to make it a fantastic future-ready place to live, work and visit."

Esther Croft, development director at Reef Group, said: "The award of the contract to build phase one is another hugely important step towards making our vision of a thriving new digital campus for Gloucester a reality.

"It is set to be one of the UK's first truly integrated digital communities, with the space and infrastructure to create a seamless link between city centre living and working. E G Carter & Co Ltd has made fantastic progress in bringing forward King's Square and we look forward to seeing The Forum's first phase take shape."

Sam Carter, director at E G Carter & Co Ltd, said: "As a Gloucester business through and through, we are thrilled to win a second high profile project here in our home city.

"The Forum is set to become a key part of Gloucester's future identity, and it's very exciting to have a role in creating this landmark space. We look forward to starting work on site in the coming weeks."

Detailed planning for the second phase of The Forum was submitted to the council in January and approved in April. It includes more than 125,000 sq ft of office space, with a shared workspace club and an innovation hub designed for cyber and incubator businesses. There will also be a four-star hotel, a 9,000 sq ft gym, restaurants and bars.

Phases one and two are part of the 600,000 sq ft masterplan for The Forum, which also includes a multi-storey car park and more than an acre of public realm and landscaping work.

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