Work moves at a pace as 46 bespoke modules arrive on-site and construction of event space begins next month.
A vision to transform the space around Cheltenham Minster has now become reality, with the arrival of 46 bespoke modular units on site. The exciting step forward is a positive start to the new year, with the scheme acting as the centrepiece of the council’s post-Covid recovery strategy.
The Minster Exchange (MX) project will house 20,000 square feet of state of the art workspace, a home for The Growth Hub to support business development, alongside a purpose-built events space, café, community and education space.
The arrival of the bespoke modular units is the first step in the creation of a brand new cultural hub in the heart of the town. At this stage, the units are shell only and will be clad and finished to enhance the surrounding environment.
Councillor Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council said: “The significance of the MX scheme is such that it will bring together the library, the Wilson Art Gallery & Museum, a large performance space and a café culture. It will establish the area as the heart of the town once again. Improved lighting and footpaths will encourage better connectivity between the high street and promenade, reinventing and breathing life into a space that should be well used and enjoyed by residents, communities and businesses
It’s incredibly exciting to see the long-awaited arrival of the modular units as it’s the first time we have been able to see the plans turn into reality. As we work hard, together with our partners, to recover as a town from the pandemic, the delivery of the MX project is crucial, now and for future generations.”
Bruce Gregory, director at WorkShop Cheltenham, the council’s development partner, said: “The MX will be transformational for the
town, helping to reinstate the Minster Gardens and the surrounding area as a vibrant location for the community to visit and enjoy.”
“It will be a shop window for the future vision of the town as we build momentum towards the launch of the Cyber Innovation Campus as part of the Golden Valley Development. The MX will also be the new home for Cheltenham Festivals and provide a year-round calendar of events to underpin the town’s thriving festival scene.”
As part of the wider MX initiative, it is proposed that the closed churchyard of Cheltenham Minster – the town’s oldest building – will benefit from renovation and restoration works. Known as Minster Gardens, plans for the space include new pathways, seating, lighting, planting and signage.
The scheme, having been unanimously approved by the Local Planning Authority in December, is currently with the Diocese for consideration. The project team aims for designs to go on display for the public to see very soon.