International construction services company ISG has been awarded the £12 million contract to deliver a new dining quarter at the heart of Exeter.
ISG will spearhead the Aviva Investors’ scheme designed to boost the leisure offering in the city centre. It will create space for a large number of high specification restaurants within a 36,500 sq ft site encompassing the neoclassical Guildhall along with the 13th century St Pancras Church and the Queen Street Ambulatory.
Known as Queen Street Dining at Guildhall, the project will act as a catalyst for further investment in Exeter and will hopefully build upon the significant progress made in the city’s cultural quarter during the past few years.
Western regional managing director at ISG, Rob Martin, expressed his excitement at the firm being selected for the high profile project.
He says; “Our latest project for Aviva Investors will transform and reinvigorate this important cultural area in central Exeter.
“The scheme brings real cohesion to this busy location, creating a dining destination that unifies the historic and modern built environment at Queen Street.
“This is a keynote regeneration project and we’re delighted to be playing an important role delivering such an exciting vision for Exeter’s future.”
Under the plans, ISG will work to retain and conserve the iconic Queen Street façade, allowing the refurbishments to blend seamlessly with the neoclassical design of the cultural quarter and provide an element of cohesion within the surrounding area. During this phase of the works, the firm will also install piled foundations capable of supporting the two storey steel frame which will eventually house the new restaurant units.
ISG will also be responsible for a further aspect of the plan, which involves the revamp of the public spaces surrounding the new dining quarter. Aviva Investors intends to create three distinct public squares, each of which will have strong accessibility to Queen Street Dining by way of two pedestrian link bridges, and all of which will enjoy a high quality granite finish with amphitheatre-style seating steps to create a functional and visually pleasing spectacle.
As of yet, Aviva Investors have only confirmed the letting of one unit at Queen Street Dining, which will be occupied by Caribbean restaurant brand Turtle Bay when construction work at the complex is completed. However, further names are expected to be released in the coming weeks as negotiations are finalised and agreements signed.
Chief executive and growth director at Exeter City Council, Karime Hassan, says; “We are working hard to build the city’s evening and night time economy and we welcome this significant investment from Aviva Investors to create Queen St Dining.
“I believe Queen St will be a brilliant addition to the city’s culinary offer and further strengthen the appeal of the city centre.”
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