At its meeting on 19 December, the county council’s cabinet is being asked to agree £23.5m funding to redevelop the former site of Quayside House, Barrack Square, Gloucester to bring two GP surgeries and pharmacy into the area.
The plan would generate an estimated £1.15m income per year for the county council, helping to support key frontline services. The new building would be part funded from the sale of council owned office buildings that have become outdated and unsuitable for their current use as well as from capital receipts.
The old Quayside House was built in the 1960s, with a planned 30 year life and was demolished in April this year as part of the Quayside and Blackfriars regeneration masterplan. Subject to cabinet approval, phase one would transform part of the site into a £16 million multi-purpose building including two GP surgeries serving around 17,500 patients, a pharmacy, office space and parking.
Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group plans to relocate Gloucester City Health and Gloucester Health Access Centre allowing their services to expand in a purpose-built facility as part of the scheme. The state-of-the-art building would be owned by the county council and will also be the new home to the council’s occupational health teams.
By relocating county council staff to the new building and disposing of existing outdated buildings, the council would generate funds and save maintenance costs. The new building would also provide office rental space for local businesses, improved accessibility including a public changing places toilet, and a range of services under one roof. Phase one is expected to be completed by August 2020.
Phase two of the project is a £7.5m modern multi-storey car park to provide 500 public parking spaces including charging points for electric vehicles. Further plans for the remainder of the Quayside area is also taking shape; with more news being announced soon.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, said: “This is a great scheme that will significantly benefit Gloucester and Gloucestershire, bringing investment and job opportunities into the city for its growing population.
“By working under the same roof as our health colleagues, not only will we improve the service we deliver for residents but we will also reduce our property costs too. The income received will be invested into the delivery of high quality and efficient joined up services for the people of Gloucestershire.
“With cabinet approval we can take a significant step towards delivering this exciting project as part of the ongoing regeneration of the Quayside area.”
Andrew Hughes, associate director of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am currently working with two practices, Gloucester City Health and Gloucester Health Access Centre. City Health is in a building that is not fit for service anymore, whereas Health Access Centre does not have the space for the population growth we are expecting in Gloucester.
“We are hoping that with this scheme, we can build a state-of-the-art health facility for both of those practices to co-locate into. The development of a primary care hub in the city centre is a key priority for the local NHS, but is subject to business case approval by the NHS and satisfactory commercial negotiations between the county council and the Practices.”
If cabinet approve this investment, a business case will be developed and negotiations between the NHS, the Practices and Gloucestershire County Council will take place.