The topping out ceremony for Provender Mill in the Bakers Quay development will take place at 12.30pm on Friday 23 February. The right honourable MP for Gloucester, Richard Graham, will be cutting the ribbon to celebrate this significant milestone in Gloucester’s regeneration.
Less than a year since the foundations were laid in June 2017, an important milestone has been reached with completion of the roof and cladding of Developers Rokeby Merchant’s first new residential building. Rokeby Merchant have retained the style of the original iconic 19th century mill, providing affordable luxury via 47 new residential apartments as well as ground floor restaurants.
The area had fallen into disuse in recent decades. However with the continued regeneration of Gloucester Docks, especially at the adjacent Gloucester Quays development, there was added impetus to complete the final piece in the development jigsaw in the Gloucester Docks phase.
The apartments are being marketed by Naylor Powell and boast attractive vistas of Gloucester Docks, the Gloucester Sharpness Canal and the 15th Century Llanthony Secunda Priory from the spacious balconies. The first phase of this £60 million project is being built by Barnwood Construction.
Rokeby Merchant director Michael Chicken said: “I am delighted that the first phase of this Bakers Quay development has reached such an important stage. It is 5 years since I was introduced to Adrian who was had already been working on the project for 5 years and who has steadfastly steered this project through a myriad of issues (ranging from the Provender fire to a complex financial structuring) and I am confident will continue to do so until the whole Bakers Quay development is complete. His tenacious workstyle should be an example to all.
He added: “The development is one that Gloucester will be truly proud of. Provender itself provides 47 affordable luxury apartments, most with balconies. Provender features a stunning reception that will echo the history of the original Provender Mill, whilst its modern external walls will change colour from golden yellow to red as the light hits from different angles. A true focal point for Gloucester and Gloucester Docks.”
Adrian Goodall of Rokeby Developments, said: “We want to bring canalside living at its best to Gloucester and I hope we will achieve this. It is always difficult selling a dream from a derelict site, however now Provender has emerged onto the skyline, I hope people can now share this vision we have and appreciate how unique this building will be within the Docks.”
Councillor Paul James, Leader of Gloucester Council said: “It’s great to see work at Bakers Quay progressing so well after so many years of it standing derelict. In particular, I think the new Provender apartment building is stunning. I’m delighted that the iconic elevator shaft feature over the canal towpath has been incorporated into the new development and the metal cladding sets it apart from other buildings too. It’s a great example of a contemporary interpretation of a heritage building. Given the recent history of this site, it really is a phoenix rising from the ashes. This development is taking place because of a partnership between the public and private sectors and I am grateful to Rokeby Merchant for staying the course, despite the challenges they have faced. With all the regeneration taking place around it, this is going to be a great place to live.”
The Foster Brothers Oil and Cake Mill was established on the banks of the Gloucester Sharpness Canal in 1862. The company was amalgamated into British Oil and Cake Mills in 1899 but was still managed by the Foster family until 1945. When production moved to Avonmouth in the early 1950s, the mill was closed and sold onto West Midlands Farmers (WMF) as a distribution depot. WMF moved out of Bakers Quay in the mid 1990s and it was from here that the building fell into a state of disrepair and dereliction. In 2013, Rokeby Developments and Merchant Place joined forces to acquire and develop then site. Despite the extensive fire damage to the building in October 2015, the developers submitted plans that retained its iconic shape and silhouette.
The project is due for completion in July 2018.
There are opportunities for the press to enjoy the stunning views from the spacious balconies at the topping-out ceremony at 12.30pm on Friday 23 February. If you would like to attend, please contact Natasha Roumian on 01452 207020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.