As part of the Minster Exchange scheme, we're proposing that the closed churchyard of Cheltenham Minster – the town’s oldest building - will benefit from renovation and restoration works. The area will be known as Minster Gardens.
The Minster Gardens project is receiving up to £229,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The proposed investment is an exciting opportunity to transform the historic and cultural core of the town centre. People currently feel that the space is a dark and unwelcoming area that suffers from antisocial behaviour. The council’s aim is to create a vibrant, yet reflective atmosphere for the public and parishioners to enjoy spending time in. At the same time we will be restoring significant pieces of our cultural heritage and improving habitat for biodiversity.
The Minster Garden plans have, with the support of the parochial church council (PCC), been submitted to the Diocese of Gloucester for approval.
The plans include creation of more social space, improving the access paths and lighting around the gardens, and adding a range of seating to help improve passive surveillance that naturally occurs as more people visit and dwell. Also included is a proposed additional path with a seating area that will link to the entrance of the new Minster Exchange (MX) building, being constructed next to the gardens behind the Children’s Library. Further details are also included with plans to carry out urgent conservation works on a number of the historically significant memorials.
To complement the soft landscaping of new shrubs and plants, the designs look at raising the crowns of the trees to let in more light, encouraging the public to come and spend time in the biodiverse and habitat rich area.
Video walkthrough of the plans
When does work start?
The scheme was unanimously approved by Cheltenham Borough Council — as the local planning authority — in December 2021. It is currently with the Diocese for consideration. If successful, work is expected to commence on site in March 2022 with a view to an early summer opening.