Bristol’s Temple Quarter and St Philip’s Marsh areas will be transformed, as part of an ambitious vision outlined by Bristol City Council and partners earlier this month which includes 10,000 new homes, a refurbished Bristol Temple Meads station and the creation of 22,000 jobs.
Site enabling works as part of the new campus development have continued over the past year in line with Government guidance, but the full impact of both the pandemic and BREXIT has yet to be fully realised, particularly the supply chain impacts.
Due to these uncertainties, the University is recalibrating the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus programme. The aim is to start the main construction build on the Cattle Market Road site in the summer of 2022 with the anticipated opening of the new campus during the second half of 2025. Adjacent to the Cattle Market Road site, the University is working to open new research facilities in the existing buildings on Avon Street early in 2022.
Over the past year, progress has continued. On Cattle Market Road (the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office) ground surveys have been completed, coring, ground clearance, geotechnical investigations, removing and processing the demolition stockpile, refilling of the basement, groundwater and soil hydrocarbon contamination remediation and placement of piling mat have all taken place. On the Wales and West Utilities and Vauxhall and Kawasaki Drive sites, the removal of the residual gasometer bunds and infrastructure is now complete.
COVID and the way in which we work has meant that the University has had to rethink how it will deliver its work and maintain resilience and flexibility over future years. It is now redesigning some of the spaces and layouts in the main academic building on Cattle Market Road, so that they better fit needs for the future. These include building in more flexibility and futureproofing so that spaces can be easily adapted for different uses e.g. flipping classrooms to hackspaces in a much more agile manner than would have been possible previously.
The University is also exploring the possibility of relocating some of the specialist facilities and supporting hub spaces into the two stone buildings on Avon Street, previously the Vauxhall Drive workshop (subject to a change of use planning permission currently being prepared).
The relocation provides an opportunity to regenerate and utilise some of the existing buildings earlier than initially planned, early in 2022. Bringing forward the regeneration of these two buildings is key in helping to develop the Temple Quarter Innovation District and support local business.
In the meantime, the University will submit the Outline Planning Application for the Wales and West Utilities and Vauxhall and Kawasaki Drive sites on Avon Street and Gas Lane today [8 April]. This follows the public consultation that took part last year and is part of a longer-term development plan for these three sites.
Barra Mac Ruairí, the University's Chief Property Officer, said:
"We are committed to Temple Quarter. We have taken on a challenging site in a challenging time with a scheme which is unique in terms of its activity. It’s a great project where learning, research, workshops and a civic building come together as one which is core to our future.
"A project of this scale and ambition comes with a range of complexities, which have been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. However, we have pushed forward and will use this time to recalibrate and make the project even stronger and add more resilience.
"Our ambition is clear but any delay is disappointing, our vision for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus has not changed and we remain 100 per cent committed to contribute to the research, innovation and skills required to drive the city and region's post-COVID recovery and help regenerate and deliver the future vision for Temple Quarter and St Philip's Marsh."
Designed with co-creation and multidisciplinary working at its core, the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus three primary areas – the Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the Quantum Technology Innovation Centre, and the Bristol Inclusive Economy Initiative - draw on existing research strengths and will see the University partner with hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), large corporates, third sector and community organisations and local and regional government.
It will also host landmark new initiatives such as MyWorld, a £46 million Bristol-led programme which will position the South West as an international trailblazer in screen-based media; creating new research and development facilities and partnerships and connecting regional SMEs and large companies with global tech titans including Netflix, Google, and Microsoft.
The Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus will be home to 3,000 students and 800 university staff, business and community partners and provide residential accommodation for 953 students. The public realm will be an open and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy. The new campus will help join the city centre to the east of Bristol with new walking and cycling paths and deliver an estimated £626 million of employment and financial benefit to the regional economy over the next decade.