New Kings Walk owner to invest five million into Gloucester city centre showing yet again that the city is becoming a target for investment and recognising the huge growth forecast for the city .
Today Gloucester City Council can announce that Kings Walk shopping centre has been purchased by Vixcroft, who plan to invest £5 million into improving the centre.
Plans to regenerate Gloucester’s city centre have been well underway this year with the new bus station on-site and plans unveiled for improvements to the railway station and the wider Kings Quarter area. Today the next step for regeneration of this area of the city centre can be announced which sees the ownership of Kings Walk shopping centre transfer to Vixcroft from Aviva.
The new owners have a successful track record when it comes to town centre regeneration and plan to invest significantly into improving the shopping centre to help create a brighter future for Gloucester city centre.
In addition to purchasing the shopping centre, Vixcroft have expressed a willingness to work with the city council, and to invest significantly, to deliver the revised Kings Quarter scheme.
The future of the Kings Walk shopping centre plays an integral part in the Kings Quarter regeneration. Plans for the scheme are still being developed, with public consultation due to take place this summer, but proposals include a new indoor market, a new multi-storey car park, a variety of restaurants and shops, some residential development and a hotel.
Local architects are currently working on the master planning for a revised Kings Quarter, which takes into account new plans emerging for the railway station, its car parking and pedestrian connections between the station and the city centre.
Leader of Gloucester City Council, Cllr Paul James, said: “We are grateful to Vixcroft for the confidence they have shown in the Gloucester and its future by making such a substantial investment.
“Vixcroft’s interest in the wider area offers us a way of bringing forward the Kings Quarter scheme more quickly than we otherwise would have been able to. With the bus station now on site and a new master plan guiding the way forward, we can really start to give this area of Gloucester the transformation it desperately needs.”
Daniel Carter, Chief Executive of Vixcroft, said: “We are making a significant investment in Gloucester because we have seen the progress that has been made in recent years and we recognise the great potential the city has. The council has strongly welcomed our interest in an integrated project, and we want to move on this project at pace. After some thorough public consultation we want to press ahead with making these improvements.
Our plans will enhance the attraction of the city centre to visitors, shoppers and residents. I am grateful to the city council for their positive response and I look forward to working with them in the months ahead to deliver a transformation of this important area of the city.”
Martyn Chase, of Stanhope, added: “The climate for delivering retail-led schemes has been challenging in recent years and the emerging revised scheme reflects how the market has changed over that time. We welcome working with Vixcroft to achieve a joined up solution for Kings Walk shopping centre and Kings Quarter. The council’s new master plan has the potential to bring forward a scheme as an early stage. The parties will continue discussion to explore the way forward.”
Notes to editors
Aviva have owned Kings Walk shopping centre since 1969.
The freehold of the shopping centre is owned by the city council which receives a share of the rental income and includes the current BHS premises on Eastgate Street.