Significant milestone for Gloucester as The Forum bridge is lifted into place

Picture by Andrew Higgins/Thousand Word

A significant milestone in Gloucester city centre’s transformation took place last Thursday (23rd November 2023), with cranes lifting The Forum’s connecting bridge into position.

The Forum is part of the £200m Kings Quarter regeneration being delivered by Gloucester City Council with Reef Group and the University of Gloucestershire at the heart of Gloucester City Centre. Kier Construction is the main construction team on site, with Novum providing engineering and design support to ensure the bridge is built to the highest design and safety standards.

The Forum site has developed at pace over recent months, with the installation of the facades this autumn, inspired by Gloucester Cathedral cloisters.

The bridge weighs 44,000 kg and measures 18.5m in length. It connects the two Forum buildings – the 4-star Indigo Hotel, offices and multi-storey car park on Plot 2, with the offices and gym space on Plot 4.

Development director for Reef Group, Peter Langly-Smith, said: “This is a proud moment and marks a major milestone in the construction to date. Not only does the bridge ensure a seamless experience across The Forum, connecting work and leisure space, it draws the eye to the centre of the site, and Gloucester itself.

“Now it is lifted into place, we hope it draws passers-by to look up and appreciate the new Gloucester that is rapidly emerging, of which The Forum forms a core part.

“The Forum is set to become the tech and leisure hub of Gloucester.”

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “This is an important moment for The Forum and the regeneration of Gloucester as a whole.

“The site is really taking shape and we’re excited to see how it will help to transform the city centre as part of the multi-million-pound programme of investment we are driving forward to make Gloucester a city fit for the future.

“The Forum is a flag ship scheme for that regeneration, and along other key projects including the redevelopment of Kings Square, the new city centre University Campus, the refurbishment of Kings Walk and Westgate Street, and recently announced Greyfriars scheme, we are delivering for Gloucester.”

Andy Bolas, regional director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “We’ve been really pleased with the rate of progress on site this year and we are delighted to be see the year out with the bridge being lifted into position. It’s the (crucial) icing on the cake.

“The bridge is an impressive piece of engineering, constructed and delivered with quality and efficiency in mind. It was constructed off site using modern methods of construction.

“The MMC process focuses on off-site construction techniques to maximise the efficiency of material and human resources. By reducing waste and energy usage, the construction of The Forum has supported its overriding ethos of sustainability and innovation.”