Bristol’s Enterprise Zone at Temple Quarter is developing well in spite of the challenging economic climate, visitors to a major event taking place in Brunel’s Old Station at Temple Meads will be told.
Called ‘Delivering the Vision’, the event on Thursday 4th July aims to show the 300-strong audience what has been happening in the Zone since it was officially declared open for business in April 2012, as well as looking at the future developments.
Presenting the keynote speech will be Network Rail, giving an update on its plans to transform Temple Meads station, alongside electrification of the route and the introduction of Intercity Express trains.
Patrick Hallgate, route managing director for Network Rail Western says: “Transforming Temple Meads railway station is fundamental to the future success of the Enterprise Zone. We are moving on track with this ambition as we continue our discussion with the government on funding whilst getting started on investigating the Victorian structure. Being one of the busiest stations in the country and one of the most congested, we believe the redevelopment is much needed. We are already seeing 9 million passengers through here a year and we are predicting that to increase by up to 44% by 2020.”
Mayor Ferguson said: “My vision for Bristol is to create the most welcoming city that gives a great first impression and embraces people arriving here. The redevelopment of Temple Meads railway station in the heart of the Enterprise Zone is key to delivering this vision. In five years’ time, we want passengers to arrive in the rapidly developing Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and have a transformed arrival experience, coming through Brunel’s rejuvenated station, past a buzzing ‘Arena Island’, before exiting onto a new station plaza at the start of the Brunel Mile into the city
“In the last year, the building blocks for the Zone have started to be put in place. Space is being filled in the existing buildings such as the Engine Shed, Temple Studios and Rivergate; new building developments are coming forward at Glass Wharf and Paintworks; and alongside this, projects like Creative Common are making innovative use of derelict sites to ensure Temple Quarter becomes a desirable place that people want to live and play, as well as work.”
Current figures suggest that, out of 24 Enterprise Zones dotted across the UK, Bristol is one of the most successful in terms of jobs growth. Approximately 450 jobs have come to Temple Quarter since April 2012, either as new jobs with existing companies expanding or jobs created from businesses relocating there.
Paul Wilson, chief executive of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, who will also be speaking at the event, said: “Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone is the flagship project for the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and is tasked, alongside the region’s four other enterprise areas, with creating jobs and delivering growth.
“We need to ensure we get the infrastructure right to enable the jobs growth and we are now seeing funding being lined up and starting to be spent – including almost £21 million from the LEP’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund that has been allocated to improve the infrastructure in the Zone and over £11 million from the Government’s Urban Broadband fund so that we can offer world-class connectivity here. We have also created a dedicated inward investment service to attract investment and support home-grown growth and this will act as a ‘shopfront’ to the West of England, based in the new Engine Shed.”
£20.85 million has been allocated from the LEP’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund for 16 projects over the next four years to improve accessibility in and around the Zone, including over £9 million for Temple Circus and improvements to cyclist and pedestrian routes.*
Last week it was announced that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will be investing £11 million to create a new access bridge to accommodate service traffic to new developments on the Diesel Depot site, including dealing with the servicing needs of the potential arena project. The three lane bridge with cyclist and pedestrian facilities will open up access to the Diesel Depot site, the largest cleared opportunity site in the Zone, and also deliver improvements to infrastructure around the site.
David Warburton, head of area for the Homes and Communities Agency, says: “The HCA’s significant investment in this site shows our commitment to and support for the programme. As landowners with six sites totalling over 5 hectares in key locations in the Enterprise Zone we are committed to working with our partners to make sure we deliver the jobs growth and regenerate this part of the city.”
The Temple Quarter Enterprise ‘Delivering the Vision’ event is taking place at the Passenger Shed at Brunel’s Old Station on Thursday 4thJuly 2013 from 9am-12noon.