GFirst LEP working with partners on growth opportunities in the Forest of Dean

Partners have appointed regeneration expert Chris Oldershaw to support a major regeneration project which is set to bring new investment, homes and hundreds of jobs to the Forest of Dean.

Chris, who has led the regeneration of Gloucester city centre as the Chief Executive of its former Urban Regeneration Company, will focus on plans to transform a former coalfield site in Cinderford. The Northern Quarter project which he will support is at the vanguard of plans to create more than 1,000 new jobs, attract new businesses and bring a new college facility to the Forest of Dean. The project also includes plans to invest £11m in a new spine road which will support partners’ plans to bring growth and investment to the district.

The appointment has been made by the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, working with the Forest of Dean District Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), who are leading the development of the Northern Quarter scheme.

David Owen, Chief Executive, GFirst LEP said: “The work being undertaken by Chris is vital in leading investment priorities for the Forest of Dean. “This is a tremendously exciting scheme to regenerate a brownfield site into something that is going to quite literally transform the area and bring with it improved transport links with opportunities for local people to have better access to jobs, housing and skills. “As a regeneration expert with many years’ experience in this field, Chris is ideally positioned for this role and he will be working with us in a part-time capacity to lead on this scheme for Cinderford.”

David Warburton, HCA Head of Area, said: “Chris brings a huge wealth of experience of delivering major regeneration projects and is a welcome addition to the team as we look to step up to the challenge of turning the vision for the site into reality. “We have worked successfully with him in the past in bringing forward the regeneration of Gloucester Docks which featured Gloucestershire College as a key partner as this project in Cinderford does. It is extremely encouraging to have Chris on board and I’m looking forward to working with him on this important and exciting project.”

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