Gloucester's Eastgate to revamp, to become UK innovation testbed

Eastgate shopping centre in Gloucester is set to get a £400 million makeover that will see the creation of new shops and the UK’s first digital retail innovation centre.


Photo: Gloucester Marketing

The UK Digital Retail innovation Centre will be located on the first floor of Eastgate and become a hub for disruptive digital innovations, helping to shape and inform the future of cities with a special focus on retail.

Technologies such as robotic security guards and holographic virtual employees will be tested at the centre, with the aim of developing new solutions for the future.

The centre will be also a supportive incubator and work in partnership with retailers on new and developing retail technologies and methodologies.

The initiative is led by Marketing Gloucester, which won an award from Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership in November.

It is now looking for contractors to transform its vision into reality, with plans including the removal of walls, works to ceiling and floor finishes and general redecoration of the currently vacant retail and food hall at Eastgate.

The revamp will also see the creation of eleven small shop units, an open area and back room offices.

Jason Smith, Chief Executive of Marketing Gloucester said in November: “This is a huge opportunity for Gloucester to progress in our ambition to be a showcase and testbed for digital technologies, developing the city of 2050 by 2025. 

“There are huge challenges facing the UK retail sector and the UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre has the potential to be a game changer which could have a national impact, we greatly appreciate the investment from GFirst LEP.”

Eastgate shopping centre houses retailers including Blue Inc, Accessorize, H&M, JD Sports, M&S, Select and Pep&Co.

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