University’s city campus comes to life as former Debenhams building revamped
The exterior of University of Gloucestershire’s City Campus in Gloucester has been revealed for the first time, with one of the city’s iconic heritage buildings being brought back to life.
The removal of scaffolding means it is now possible to see how the former Debenhams building is being restored to its former glory by the university and its project partners.
The new feature windows that have been fitted to the upper floors of The Oxebode and Northgate Street sides of the building were supplied by Crittall Windows, the same company that fitted the original windows for the Bon Marche store in the 1930s that later became Debenhams.
The new windows are close replicas of the originals, but doubled glazed for improved energy efficiency.
The original tracery panels on The Oxebode side have been carefully removed, refurbished and restored and will sit above the new shop-front windows, just as they did when the building was a popular retail destination in the heart of the city.
Lou Overton, project manager at City Campus, said: “We’re delighted that the local community, shoppers, and visitors to Gloucester will now be able see the work that’s been done to the outside of the building to ensure it’s one everyone can feel proud of.
“We know it’s a location that many people in the city hold such warm affection towards, so we’re carrying out the work as sympathetically as possible and retaining as much of its original character as we can.
“When completed, it will be a fantastic learning and teaching environment for our students and staff, as well as offering modern facilities for the community and bring opportunities to strengthen links with our partners.”
The university plans to start operating from the building next summer, with teaching commencing at the start of the new academic year in September 2024.
The City Campus development is a key part of the £200m regeneration of the city centre by Gloucester City Council and its partners the Reef Group, as well as the university.