Enabling works have now started to prepare for the demolition of the former Royal Mail sorting office on Cattle Market Road, next to Temple Meads Station. The site is being cleared to make way for the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus – one of the landmark developments in the regeneration of the Temple Quarter district.

Contractors Kier Construction Ltd. started work on 5 February and will spend the next 3-4 months making the former sorting office ready for demolition. This will include stripping out the building and making it safe, and removal of the ramp on the eastern side of the site.

In advance of demolition, Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the Wood Recycling Project have released a series of photographs documenting some of the last views inside this well-known Bristol building. The images are available to view at http://bit.ly/sortingoffice.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said:

“I’m pleased that we are making progress towards demolition of this eyesore. The derelict sorting office has been a blight on the landscape for many years, creating a poor impression of the city for people arriving by train.

“The start of enabling works is an important milestone towards the creation of a new enterprise campus – a new home of digital innovation and research for the University of Bristol.

“The whole city will benefit from this development. It will transform the appearance of the area and serve as a catalyst for the ongoing regeneration of the Temple Quarter.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Professor Guy Orpen said:

“I welcome the start of work to clear the derelict former sorting office site to make way for our exciting new Enterprise Campus.

“Over the next few years we will be working with our partners and neighbours to turn this inaccessible derelict site into a welcoming new campus that will benefit the whole city. It will offer spaces for learning, research, collaboration, leisure and living, bringing life to a neglected part of the city centre and driving the further development of digital innovation in the city region.”

This initial phase of work may also include removal of the derelict Cattle Market Tavern which has been out of use for more than seventeen years and is no longer structurally sound.

The Bristol Wood Recycling Project – which was originally set up at Cattle Market Road on temporary basis more than ten years ago – has been working closely with the council to look for alternative premises. The project has now moved to a new site nearby in St Philips.

It is anticipated that a staged demolition of the sorting office building itself will start in early summer, depending on progress with enabling works.

Photo courtesy of Callum Burns