It’s been a busy year in the Temple Quarter and, as we move into the festive period, we’re taking time to reflect on 2018 and look at what’s in store for the year ahead.
Masterplanning work gets underway
Our headline news from this year is the start of the masterplanning process for Temple Meads station and the wider Temple Quarter. This work, funded by West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Network Rail, is looking at ways to open up access to, and through, Bristol Temple Meads from the east of the city and the potential to bring forward new development including retail, office, housing and leisure facilities around the station and wider district, including St Philip’s Marsh.
The masterplanning team has been working hard on the project since July, bringing together evidence from a wide range of different sources – from analysis of transport patterns to demographic trends to planning policy reports – together with the knowledge of successful developments in other locations. The team is working closely with partners WECA, Network Rail, Homes England and the University of Bristol as well as other key stakeholders such as Historic England. In the New Year they will also be gathering the views of local people, with further public consultation to follow: watch this space for more details.
In September, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet made the decision to go ahead with plans for a mixed-use development on Temple Island instead of an arena. Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said:
“We need to move forward now and ensure Bristol is fit for the demands of a modern, thriving and well connected city. I am confident an alternative development for Temple Island is at the heart of that vision and will create inclusive economic growth, jobs and homes.”
Further supporting this commitment to jobs growth was the West of England Joint Committee’s decision in November to invest £4m in Engine Shed 2. The project involves the redevelopment of the George & Railway site and adjacent car park, providing 44,000sq ft of new floorspace together with valuable support services for growing businesses.
2018 saw the launch of new spaces at Paintworks as their phase three works drew to a close. The final phase four projects, which will complete the regeneration of the site, are already well underway and due to complete in 2019.
Elsewhere in the Enterprise Zone, Finzel’s Reach has come on leaps and bounds this year with the completion of the Aurora building and preparation works well underway for the historic Fermentation Buildings. In December, Finzel’s Reach developers Cubex also announced plans for a mixed-use scheme to be developed at the former Avon Fire and Rescue headquarters. Plans will be submitted to Bristol City Council in the new year, following public consultation in December.
If you’re interested to see what’s changing at Finzel’s Reach, their weekly food market is a great excuse to pop down and have a look at how the works are transforming the area.
Investing in infrastructure
One of our key partners, Network Rail, has pressed ahead in 2018 with their successful rail improvement works at Filton Bank. The major project installed an additional two tracks between Bristol Parkway and Temple Meads, doubling capacity on this key part of the line. Temple Meads station has also seen improvements with new ticket gates opening this month to help ease the congestion getting in and out of the station.
Work continues on the reconfiguration of the Temple Circus junction and the project will move into its final phase in April 2019 when the new road layout will go into place. New footpaths will also open at this stage.
The deep drainage works, which have taken significantly longer than expected due to the discovery of uncharted pipes and cellars, will be completed by mid-February 2019. Installation of heat networks is also progressing well with 40% of the associated pipework now laid – an important element in ensuring Bristol reaches its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The full scheme is on track to be completed by Autumn 2019.
Looking ahead: goodbye to eyesore buildings
The University of Bristol has been moving forward with plans for their Enterprise Campus since receiving outline planning permission in July. Throughout 2018, the city council has been carrying out enabling works at the former Royal Mail sorting office and its days are numbered with demolition scheduled to commence in early 2019.
The Temple Quarter business community continues to go from strength to strength. The momentum behind the area’s regeneration was reinforced by Bristol City Council’s Cabinet support for the development of Engine Shed 2 on the George and Railway site, and approval to consider use of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the Grosvenor Hotel site. The redevelopment of these two derelict buildings will greatly improve the gateway between Temple Meads and the wider city. This is definitely a space to watch in 2019.
All in all, a very exciting year on the horizon!
Between 21 December and 7 January, our communications channels will be a bit quieter than usual. During this time, please bear with us and contact Bristol City Council directly if you have an urgent enquiry.