Developers are making multi-million pound investments in new state-of-the-art buildings at Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone because of the growing confidence in the economy and increased level of stability, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced at his visit on the 15th January.

These are part of a record number of developments across Enterprise Zones and are playing a vital role in boosting the economy. They will deliver world-class infrastructure that will create more jobs in the zone and provide knock-on benefits for people living nearby – from new services and infrastructure through to new business opportunities.

The Enterprise Zone has become a real magnet for investment since it opened with developers so confident that they will let new buildings that they start work before having tenants lined up to move in.

This includes the new £40 million 2 Glasswharf office development where work was officially marked complete by the Communities Secretary during a tour today. The iconic building, which will deliver 100,000 square feet of office space and create up to 1,000 jobs, is getting ready to welcome its first tenant, global accountancy giants PricewaterhouseCooper.

The private-sector investment has proved so successful that developer Salmon Harvester is pushing ahead with another speculative build, the £50 million 3 Glasswharf, that will deliver a further 110,000 square feet of floor space and create up to 1,000 jobs by 2017.

Work is also due to start on the nearby Paintworks III and IV expansions. The £55 million development will deliver 125,000 square feet of space for creative and digital businesses, creating up to 450 hi-tech jobs.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“Enterprise Zones are a great place to do business. That’s why these developers are channelling millions of pounds into these investments. It proves that our long-term economic plan is on track, helping deliver the kind of world-class infrastructure that attracts top companies. And that’s great news for the economy and communities because it’s these kinds of businesses that will create jobs for hard-working people.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:

“As an MP for Bristol I’ve seen first hand the massive transformation that has gone on at the Enterprise Zone. It really has helped boost confidence in the local economy and that is why we are seeing a fantastic new building like 2 Glasswharf as part of our skyline. I know other developers are taking note and I expect even greater success in the future. It really does show that Bristol is a great place to live and work.”

Mayor George Ferguson holding olympic cycling helmet

Mayor George Ferguson holding Olympic cycling helmet

During the visit Mr Pickles toured the site and met with interns and graduate employees of Crux Product Design, which has been based at the Paintworks site since 2010. The company is a leading product design firm and helped design the cycling helmets for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics. Crux is planning to expand into new premises at Paintworks III when the development is complete.

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said:

“The completion of 2 Glasswharf and the start of work on Paintworks Phase III are really good news and shows that there is real confidence in Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and Bristol’s growing economy. 2 Glasswharf offers high specification, low energy commercial space that is already attracting tenants and Paintworks will offer much needed accommodation for the growing cluster of creative and high-tech businesses that are being attracted to the city. These developments demonstrate that we have a very attractive proposition for investors and occupiers, offering a first class location, great connectivity and a talented workforce.”

Rorie Henderson, Development Director at Salmon Harvester Properties, said:

“As a developer, this is an exciting time to be involved in the commercial property market in the South West. Having acquired a 0.3 acre site in 2010 from PwC and Lloyds Bank as part of the Castlemore Administration, we are now seeing our 100,000 square foot office development at 2 Glasswharf come to fruition. The building has already taken its place in the Bristol skyline, alongside the Floating Harbour and Bristol Temple Meads station.

When we launched the building at the end of 2013, our £40 million investment in Bristol was seen as a sign that confidence had returned to the wider economy and it was hoped that by building a first class office headquarters within the city’s Enterprise Zone, it would act as a catalyst for further investment and job creation.

As we emerged from a recession, speculative development was a risk, but one that has certainly paid off. PwC signed for 28,275 square feet in October at £28.00 per square foot and we were delighted to be rewarded with a top-flight professional services tenant prior to completion. There is very strong interest in the remainder of the building and we also received planning permission at the end of 2014 for a £50 million, 110,000 square foot office development with retail and basement car parking next door at 3 Glasswharf. We hope to start on site in the second half of next year, with completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.”

Sandra Dixon, Sales & Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson South West, said:

“Paintworks is an incredibly innovative regeneration project, which has already established a fantastic creative hub for the city, so we’re really excited to be delivering Phase III. Our high specification collection of houses and apartments, commercial and live/work units will be a flagship development for Bristol and we anticipate high demand when they launch to market. We’re already receiving a lot of interest.”

Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK and home to a flourishing green and digital technology sector.

The 24 Enterprise Zones are at the heart of the Government’s plans to rebalance the economy offering world-class infrastructure and top-class growth incentives for companies across a range of key sectors including aviation, manufacturing and life sciences. This business focussed approach has led to a record number of speculative developments across the Zones where developers go ahead with buildings and then find tenants.

More than £230 million has been committed to 31 projects across the Enterprise Zone programme so far, meaning at least 1.8 million square feet of new office and industrial space will be rolled out by 2018 – the equivalent of more than 23 Wembley football pitches.

Around 250,000 square feet of that work has already been completed with developers pushing ahead to finish a further 500,000 square feet by summer, paving the way for up to 2,200 jobs. Businesses have already snapped up more than half of the space that is currently available. Enterprise zones have attracted more than 430 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment since opening for business in April 2012.