Independent eateries could make the difference at ‘Gloucester Food Dock’

Gloucester Docks

Plans for a contemporary new waterfront food destination on the north side of Gloucester docks have been submitted to Gloucester City Council by owners L&R Group.

Known as ‘Gloucester Food Dock’, the new development will include contemporary, modular steel units attached to an extension of the existing Grade II listed buildings giving it an urban, industrial feel with terraces and views over the water. Designed specifically for independent, regional food operators, the scheme offers opportunities for up to 15 new businesses.

The scheme will replace the previous development, which had planning permission for five full-scale restaurants.

Several leading regional businesses are already in advanced discussions with owners L&R Group and property advisers JLL about taking on space in this exciting new food destination.

Sited at the city end of the docks, Gloucester Food Dock will reflect recent changes in people’s habits and preferences when it comes to eating out, including an increasing emphasis on smaller, independent and one-off outlets.

Businesses that have been attracted so far to the dockside location, heritage building and showstopping view encompass Asian street food, charcoal grilled meats, coffee roasters, bakeries, craft beer and fish and chips.

L&R development director Ken Elliott said: “The food and beverage market has moved on from the large brands that have dominated many town centres and this provides an opportunity for Gloucester and the region to do something new and to celebrate the best of its brilliant range of quality, independent food businesses – which we are delighted to be gathering together at Gloucester Food Dock.”

Under the plans, the site will further improve connections between the city and the quays and provide an additional access stairway to the dockside between the existing buildings.

L&R operations director Sarah Mansfield said, “We are bringing together a group of energetic, creative and dedicated regional food businesses which share our vision to create an exciting new waterfront food hub specialising in tasty, independently produced food. Some will be very new and others more established, but they will be chosen because they complement each other, are dedicated to producing fantastic food and have a sense of theatre.”

Daniel Milford, senior surveyor for property consultants JLL, added: “The strong interest we’ve had from regional food operators already, plus recent successes of independent-focused food destinations, particularly in waterside locations, confirm that this is exactly the right way to go for Gloucester. It will bring a whole new offer to the city and exactly the link we’ve long been waiting for between the docks and the city-centre.”

With the completion of the public space around Back Badge Square and the grand staircase at the north end of the docks this new waterfront destination will also be ideally suited to public events and performances, complementing the breadth of venues and locations already in the city.