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£15m office and business relocation to bring 500 jobs to Cheltenham

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Written by: Gloucestershire Echo | Posted 15 August 2016 11:05

£15m office and business relocation to bring 500 jobs to Cheltenham

Plans for a £15 million office development set to bring up to 500 jobs to Cheltenham have been submitted.

Property investor Formal Investments wants to create more than 80,000 square feet of prime offices as the new HQ for a major international business keen to relocate to the town.

Honeybourne Place has been pre-let to the global company and, subject to the plans receiving permission, construction could begin in 2017 with the occupier moving to Cheltenham in 2019.

Previous plans for Honeybourne Place, at Jessop Avenue, have been revised in this new application because the occupier wants more office space than originally envisaged.

The desired office space has been boosted by more than 20 per cent by removing other elements, including residential units. A detailed planning application has this week been made to Cheltenham Borough Council for the high quality six-storey landmark building.

Nicholas King, a director at Formal Investments, said: "The striking landmark building will help deliver economic growth and bring further major inward investment in a location that has cemented itself as a key business district for Cheltenham."

Jeremy Williamson, managing director of Cheltenham Development Taskforce, said: "It is always pleasing to bring forward a brown field site, but even more so when it has such job creation potential and is promoted by local investors such as Formal Investments.

"Attracting a major international player was the icing on the cake and demonstrated the continuing attractiveness of Cheltenham."

Steve Jordan, Cheltenham Borough Council leader, said: "Securing this investment in the centre of Cheltenham is a real coup, given the high value jobs that it will generate."

Michael Ratcliffe, chief executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, said: "We are delighted at the investment in town centre office accommodation, as employment is the life-blood of the economy."

The sustainable design, created by Roberts Limbrick architects of Gloucester, uses high quality materials including limestone, glass and high-spec cladding and maximises the use of daylight. Photovoltaic panels will provide renewable energy.

The proposal will help to create an attractive public plaza at the end of Jessop Avenue and provide high quality improvements to the public realm, public art and new mature trees.

Formal Investments was the developer of the adjacent buildings Festival House and Formal House, which are home to conference, meeting and office facilities for businesses.

Between Honeybourne Place and Waitrose is a pedestrian plaza, while to the South lies the River Chelt and an established 'green corridor', with pedestrian and cycle paths linking to the town centre.

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