Planning permission granted for innovative tech hub in forward-thinking city

Local developer Grenadier, have announced they have received planning permission for their bold new plan for Paternoster House, on North Street in Exeter City Centre. The former department store, once known as Cornish’s, is to become an exciting new tech hub which will provide local and innovative businesses a place to thrive. This latest project will initiate the regeneration of the area surrounding Fore Street and North Street and introduce a diverse range of businesses to the area.

This iconic and revered building survived WWII and local residents will no doubt have fond memories of the family-run business which was the first to introduce a Paternoster lift – an elevator which moves slowly through a continuous loop without stopping.

The development plans to transform this historic building which is an expansive c.30,000 sq. ft into a multi-use development which, in addition to a new tech hub, includes 24 apartments with fantastic views of the historic Exeter Cathedral and surrounding area. A ground-floor independent coffee shop will be introduced to create a bridge between the wider community and tech-hub.

As a sustainable property developer, Grenadier keen to bring this once-loved building back to life and ensure its legacy is maintained well into the future with introduction of sustainable methods and technologies. The developers plan to provide cycle racks and promote car sharing to highlight the importance of reducing air pollution in the city. Plans to maintain much of the building’s original features, including the large wooden staircase and facade is significant in preserving the history of this prominent building.

Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Director, Grenadier: “We are delighted that planning has been granted for Grenadier to create an inclusive working space and residential homes. The space will enable businesses and individuals to collaborate and work together on new projects which compliment Exeter’s vision of being a knowledge-led economy.

In these uncertain times we hope this project will soon support the local economy by providing local jobs during construction, and to enable a space for small local businesses to thrive.”

Karime Hassan, Chief Executive, Exeter Council, added:“The development plans for Paternoster House will commence the regeneration of this area, and provide an exciting new hub which will support, nurture and enable local and small businesses to thrive. I am extremely supportive of accelerating the economic development of this fantastic city.”

Grenadier have opened the space at Paternoster House to local artists as part of a pop-up gallery for the last eleven months. The former retail space has been showcasing works from local talent including painters Louisa Doak and Exmouth artist Anna Fitzgerald, who also co-designed the hoarding for one of Grenadier’s other projects, Sideshore, on the Exmouth seafront.

Grenadier’s pre-COVID planning had them commencing at Paternoster as soon as possible with practical completion anticipated to be in 2022.

The schedule is being reviewed to take account of current circumstances.