High Street Culture
Find out what’s coming up in our four-year programme of cultural activity across England's High Streets Heritage Action Zones, continuing until 2024.
Westgate is one of the oldest and best preserved areas of Gloucester and the main commercial route linking the cathedral to the rest of the city.
One of four original Roman routes, Westgate links the spectacular medieval cathedral to the rest of the city. Its array of stunning historic buildings includes the 15th century timber-framed Fleece Inn and Judges’ Lodgings, both of which are on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register. Despite its strong historic character, proximity to the cathedral and good location, Westgate Street is underperforming.
Westgate’s retail environment has changed dramatically in recent years. It once had a strong mix of independent businesses whose owners embraced the street’s historic buildings, but many have moved on and prospective new owners feel the properties are expensive to run and difficult to convert. The street scene is tired, with poor paving, inconsistent signage, and general clutter. Many retail units stand vacant. Locals perceive the area in a negative light and of the thousands of visitors to the cathedral, few are attracted into Westgate Street.
The Heritage Action Zone will capitalise on Westgate’s untapped potential and boost the number of people living, working and taking pride in the area. The award of up to £1.9m to Gloucester City Council will invest in Westgate Street’s beautiful historic buildings, repairing buildings and historic shopfronts and converting vacant upper floors for new uses. There will be advice and support for businesses in historic properties, and the streetscape will be improved with new signage and branding. The area will be vibrant with cultural activities, from community archaeology to performing arts, and will become known for its attractive evening and night-time offer. The Heritage Action Zone will help Westgate thrive again by bringing a modern business approach to an outstanding historic environment.
Below you can find just some of the progress being made in the Gloucester Cathedral Quarter High Street Heritage Action Zone. For more, follow us on Twitter @HistoricEngland.
Work to conserve the Grade I listed medieval Fleece Hotel is under way. Vital repairs to the former Meeks Shoes shop have also started. More about conserving these historic gems.
Our website works best with the latest version of the browsers below, unfortunately your browser is not supported. Using an old browser means that some parts of our website might not work correctly.