University buys Gloucester Debenhams store for healthcare tuition
If losing one former Debenhams store as a retail destination wasn’t enough. Hot on the heels of news the Leicester city landmark is being converted into 300 rentable homes, the Gloucester Debenhams is to become a centre for healthcare tuition and community cultural events.
The University of Gloucestershire has purchased the site, planning to remodel the 20,000 square metre, five-storey space into lecture halls and training areas for nurses and healthcare workers. The opening is planned for September 2023.
Stephen Marston, the university’s vice-chancellor, told the Guardian: “The Debenhams building has a special place in the hearts of local people, and we’re delighted that our plans will help breathe new life and purpose into a place that is central to the city’s heritage”.
Richard Cook, the leader of Gloucester city council, also said the transfer of ownership is part of its plans to regenerate the city centre: “This is fantastic news which not only guarantees the future of this much loved building but also sees it become a hive of activity and learning”.
More than 120 Debenhams stores have closed since December with many earmarked for non-retail redevelopment, including hotels, offices, flats, bowling alleys and other leisure uses, according to the newspaper.
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