Construction on a new entrance to Bristol Temple Meads station has begun.

The new Eastern Entrance will make it easier for people to access the station from the east of the city and will open directly into the University of Bristol’s new Enterprise Campus.

The new entrance is funded by the £94.7m won from central government for the Temple Quarter programme through the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority last year. It is the first major piece of infrastructure delivery under the regeneration programme, which will see three new entrances delivered to the east, south and north of the station, alongside new homes, jobs, and public spaces.

The Temple Quarter regeneration programme, a partnership project between Bristol City Council, the Mayoral Combined Authority, Homes England, and Network Rail, will transform 130 hectares of land around Bristol Temple Meads station to deliver 10,000 new homes and thousands of new jobs, alongside new public spaces, low-carbon infrastructure and commercial uses.

Initial works to prepare for the delivery of the new entrance were carried out within the station in 2021, with £22 million of funding by the Mayoral Combined Authority, to keep the programme on track before the government grant was made. By taking this proactive partnership approach, the Temple Quarter partners were able to save time and money, as well as reducing disruption to rail passengers.

Over the coming months, work will include piling work to support the creation of the new entrance in the existing retaining wall, followed by breaking through the wall and excavation works to create a tunnel through to the subway inside the station.

In early 2024, construction on the new entry building will begin.

The construction of the new entrance is expected to take 13 months. Once complete, the building will be shrouded until September 2026 to allow the development of the new university campus and public space outside the entrance to be completed.

Dan Norris, Metro Mayor, said:

I’m thrilled that works to create a brand-new entrance at for Brunel’s iconic station to improve access for locals east of the city are now underway, all part of one of the most exciting regeneration projects in Europe which I’m proud is being administered by my West of England Mayoral Combined Authority.

“Combine this with my multi-million-pound programme of region-wide rail improvements, including the opening of Portway Park and Ride in the summer, and soon-to-be new stations at Ashley Down and elsewhere, and it’s clear we’remaking getting from A to B in the West easier, safer and more pleasant than ever before.

“It’s another important step on the journey to regenerate this amazing city and have, at long last, the jewel in the crown in the heart of our great West of England region.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said:

“Breaking ground on the Eastern Entrance is another step on the journey we’ve been on with Temple Quarter since 2017. Working in partnership and supported by the government funding we secured in 2022, we are now into delivery on the transformation of Temple Quarter.

“Underpinned by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and shaped by a clear vision for the place we want to create, we can deliver up to 10,000 new homes, many of them affordable homes, thousands of new jobs, and sustainable infrastructure Bristol needs to thrive and be a blueprint for sustainable 21st century city regeneration.”

Marcus Jones, Network Rail’s Western Route Director, said

“It’s almost 100 years since the last major developments at Bristol Temple Meads. The work we’re doing with the Eastern entrance, roof renovation, and the £94m major redevelopment of Temple Meads will revolutionise the experience for passengers and Bristolians alike, putting the station right at the heart of the community. Just as Brunel planned when the station opened 183 years ago, Temple Meads has evolved over time – from the original station of the 1840s, to the main arch of the 1870s-1890s, to the additional platforms of 1920s-1930s. We’re now taking the station firmly into the future.”

Peter Denton, Chief Executive at Homes England, said:

“The construction of the Eastern Entrance marks another important milestone for the project, and brings us one step closer to transforming Temple Meads into a world-class gateway to the city-region. This is vital work that will help unlock the delivery of much-needed new homes and public spaces, and create a place that people love to live, work, and spend time.”

Barra Mac Ruairi, Chief Property Officer at the University of Bristol, said:

“The new Eastern Entrance will establish the Enterprise Campus in the heart of our city. It will open directly into the University Square leading to the extensive, publicly accessible green spaces around the campus. It will also provide convenient, sustainable connections for our partners, staff and students to come to engage, work and study on the car-free site.”