This week sees an exciting step in the Minster Exchange Project that I have been working on, the council has entered into a pioneering joint venture between the public and private sector, with a group of local entrepreneurs, who brought forward the concept of a modular construction to provide a workshop space to support small business, over the last two years this has evolved into something altogether bigger.
A state of the art workspace that will be carbon neutral, it will house a tier two growth hub an event space that will give Cheltenham Festivals a permanent place, the build will be up and running in the spring of 2022.
It is often said that the Minster Church gardens are a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of our town, these gardens will also benefit with new pathways to link into the high street and to the Wilson Art Gallery and museum, new benches, lighting, public art, planting and signage this will be completed by the end of this year.
Overall the scheme will provide a space for collaboration creative digital sector and our cyber tech community, support Cheltenham’s place shaping vision and economic recovery plan, connect the town with the forthcoming Golden Valley Cyber development.
Importantly it will enable people to come together in an exchange of ideas, creativity and culture, to spark conversation and innovation which continues the site’s historic connection with the exchange of goods through trade and commerce.
The First stage of the Minster Exchange is now completed the land swap with the county council Chester Walk, at the back of the Children’s Library, with a portion of St George’s Road car park, has happened this week.
From this month a virtual Growth Hub will be open in Cheltenham to serve clients until the Exchange is completed and it can move to its permanent site.
Next moves are commencing work on the manufacture of the modular building off site. This involves fabrication of the raw steel and other raw materials. Finalising designs for the Minster Gardens to submit for Diocese and CBC planning approval.
I look forward to sharing more progress.
- Councillor Rowena Hay, Leader Cheltenham Borough Council