Ambitious new vision set to steer city’s future

A healthy, safe and vibrant place where people come together, and enterprise and nature thrive, is how an ambitious new five-year vision is set to position Gloucester.

The Five Year Vision for Gloucester City Centre aims to steer the big decisions that will affect the city over the next five years while strengthening bids to government and other funding bodies.

It has been created by Gloucester City Council on behalf of the City Centre Commission, which is chaired by the Dean of Gloucester and made up of 20 partner organisations including businesses, public and community sectors.

The vision, set to be endorsed by the city council’s cabinet on February 8, celebrates the city’s unique and special identity and sets out how it can make the most of its assets such as its rich heritage, beautiful countryside, young and diverse population and good transport links.

It was shaped by research carried out by the University of Gloucestershire who spoke to city centre businesses and residents who welcomed the regeneration that has transformed the city, including the Quays and Kings Square while looking ahead to multi-million pound projects like the Forum and the Food Dock.

Locals also said that Gloucester has the opportunity and potential to become a thriving and attractive city and praised its diversity and inclusivity as well as its community spirit. 

The vision recognises the key challenges that face the city centre including people’s changing shopping habits that are reducing the demand for retail and altering the face of the high street as well as the increasing need for space for homes, businesses and recreation.

Six key principles are set out in the document and will be used to guide how decision makers plan the city’s future:

  • Greener spaces with nature and biodiversity at the heart of the city centre
  • A more inclusive and safer city reflecting the needs of the whole community
  • More recognition of Gloucester’s unique heritage and identity 
  • A greater role for the city centre in addressing climate emergency
  • Recognising the changing future of the high street and make spaces and buildings adaptable
  • More engagement with local people on new developments and the design of public services

The progress of the vision will be driven by the council and the City Centre Commission and a survey will be carried next year to find out what progress had been made.

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “We’ve seen a dramatic change in Gloucester over recent years with the regeneration that has taken place and we know that the city has a very bright future but there are some challenges ahead. This vision gives us a clear sense of direction, guiding us towards making Gloucester a modern and green city, full of successful businesses and engaged people.”