Construction and Infrastructure
Jobs will be created after family-run Gloucester building firm wins contract for £5m transformation of Kings Square
“A people who are Gloucester born and bred this is special. We are thrilled,” is how Sam Carter summed up the news his family’s business will lead the regeneration of Kings Square.
The head of major construction at E G Carter & Co Ltd said the contract would help create jobs in the county and the firm would not be hanging around to get things moving.
“We will be erecting new fencing in Kings Square next week and within the first two weeks of November will begin meaningful work,” said Mr Carter.
“Myself, my uncles, brother, and many of our staff, are born and bred in Gloucester. We know what this means.
“We will hopefully create some local employment. We think some jobs will also be created though our supply chain. It will definitely be an opportunity for that.”
E G Carter & Co Ltd, which can trace its beginnings back 75 years to its foundation, by Edward George (George) Carter in 1945, now employs an estimated 180 staff from its Lower Tuffley Lane headquarters.
The Kings Square project has been a long time coming, with numerous false starts until the city council took ownership of the site in order to make things finally happen.
It brought in specialist London-based developer Reef Group, which unveiled its ambitious re-design and digital office space concept earlier this year.
Esther Croft, development director at Reef Group, which also has offices in Bristol, said: “Our vision is to create one of the UK’s first truly integrated digital societies. We want to provide the space and the infrastructure to build a seamless link between city centre living and working, in a new social and digital hub – repositioning Gloucester for the digital age.”
Reefs plans, depicted in artist’s impressions show a bright new city-scape which acknowledges the landmarks of historic Gloucester close by, and according to Reef “create a vibrant innovation hub for digital businesses, and act as a catalyst for an emerging digital and cyber sector”.
Plans include the installation of sweeping, granite seating areas, water fountains, tree plantings, and atmospheric coloured lighting.
The design concept, by George King Architects, is said to take inspiration from the Severn Bore.
According to EG Carter, part of the reason it won the contract was because it could successfully fulfil the council’s‘Social Values’ policy.
This requires any council led contract worth over £50,000 to be awarded to firms aiming to achieve several social benchmarks including; promoting local skills and employment; creating healthier, safer and more resilient communities; protecting and improving the environment; and promoting social innovation.
Councillor Richard Cook, leader of the city council, said: “We are particularly pleased that it’s a local firm which fits with our values as a council because, where we can, we want to spend our money locally. This project will transform our city and help make it a fantastic place to live, work and visit.”
Mr Carter added: “A renewed Kings Square is a key part of Gloucester’s future identity, and it’s very exciting to have a role in creating this central space.
“Our whole team feels an emotional connection to the area, and we look forward to working with the council to make a new Kings Square a reality.”