Council to create new adults and children’s services hub
Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) has received planning permission to create a new adults and children’s services hub.
This new centre will replace the old magistrates court buildings located in Barbican Road and forms part of the wider regeneration of the Quayside and Blackfriars areas of the city.
The council will relocate its current services based in Quayside House into the new building, connecting them with other services in Shire Hall. This will make it much easier for the public to access these services and create a welcoming and comfortable environment for service users.
The existing building will make way for a more eco-friendly, cost effective office space for staff and clients as well as making a positive contribution to the Barbican conservation area in Gloucester.
The rest of Shire Hall is also undergoing refurbishment to create more eco-friendly and efficient office space for staff.
With the building currently divided into a lot of individual offices the new design will create a more open plan environment to allow more efficient use of the space as well as allowing better communication between teams.
Plans are in place to fit solar panels to Shire Hall which will help to light the building and significantly reduce the council’s energy bills and carbon footprint.
After 50 years’ service, large areas of the existing windows and cladding are in disrepair and these will also be replaced as part of the works. All parts of the structure will be low maintenance to reduce the costs of maintaining and running it. There will also be improvements made to accessibility to and from the building.
As the regeneration continues the old buildings (Quayside House, Oxleaze Wing, The Ship and the old County Garage) will ultimately be demolished to make way for new development.
During the refurbishment and demolition works, Barbican Road will be closed to motorists. Pedestrians will still be able to use the footpath for access between the town centre and the Gloucester Docks.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Work has been progressing well on the regeneration of Shire Hall and Bearlands.
“We’ve received planning permission to demolish the old magistrates court. Work started last week and is due to be completed by the end of 2017. This will create a new and exciting space for our adults and children’s services offices.
“The county council's presence at Shire Hall is really important for the city centre economy and by keeping the majority of our staff in the centre we can continue to support local trade.”