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Happy 40th birthday to Gloucestershire's Eastgate Shopping Centre

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Written by:   | Posted 04-July-2013 9:34

Happy 40th birthday to Gloucestershire's Eastgate Shopping Centre

Forty years ago, Gloucester entered a brave new world of under cover shopping.

And the Eastgate Shopping Centre is still going strong, ahead of a major redevelopment project.

It opened its portico entrance on July 3, 1973, replacing the market which dominated Eastgate Street.

Running through to Southgate Street and Greyfriars, it also brought rooftop parking, linking to the Longsmith Street and King’s Walk car parks.

The bridge over Southgate Street to Longsmith Street car park has long gone, and redevelopment in 1994 saw columns cladded with an architectural feature. The Beatrix Potter clock was added, and a large fish tank removed.

Now more change is on the way. Over a four-month period, the glass lift from the centre of Bell Walk will be replaced by two new passenger lifts and will open up the central walkway on Bell Walk.

The Forum pillars and the ceilings will be cleaned up too, but business will carry on as normal.

The portico entrance on Eastgate Street dates from 1856 when the old market was there, and was moved down the street by around 25ft for the then-new Eastgate Shopping Centre in 1973.

“It was developed to modernise Gloucester,” said former Citizen reporter Hugh Worsnip, who is now a Gloucester Civic Society member.

“Back then, shopping under cover was a new idea. It linked up with car parks in Longsmith Street and King’s Walk and opened up the Greyfriars Priory.”

Centre manager Jason Robinson said: “The centre hasn’t changed dramatically since its opening in the 70s, with only one refurbishment taking place in 1994.

“With new retailers committing to the scheme, we’ve got more great news for the centre on the horizon.”

Read a comment piece on the milestone by Jenny Eastwood, editor of The Citizen, here.

Jason Robinson, manager of the Eastgate Shopping Centre, with staff celebrating the 40th birthday of the centre in Gloucester.

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