A deal that sees the University of Bristol buy the land needed for its proposed £300m campus near Bristol Temple Meads Station has completed.
The land is divided into two parts – the former Cattle Market site of around 2.2 hectares, which was later redeveloped by Royal Mail Group as a sorting office, and the northern section of Arena Island, which is around 0.7 hectares.
The university unveiled its vision for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus last year and a public consultation is now under way until July 21. An outline planning application is expected to be submitted later in the year.
Property consultancy JLL has been advising the university on the purchase of the land and its future development proposals including advising on the planning process.
The university’s ambition is to create a home for innovation and digital technology, which will combine research and teaching across a number of disciplines together with student accommodation. It will be a hub for students, businesses and academics, providing a space for them to work together to drive innovation. There are also ambitions to develop landmark buildings and public spaces and hopefully a new access to Temple Meads Station from the south.
Paul Baker, director of development at JLL in Bristol, said: “This is a game-changing deal for Bristol. The university’s plans will be a catalyst for the regeneration of the area immediately to the south of the station, particularly areas like St Philips, where lower rise buildings could be replaced with higher density new development to include a mix of workspace and much needed new housing. The university’s campus will also be an excellent complement to the already thriving Temple Meads area, which is filling up fast.”
For example, HMRC has committed to a new 100,000 sq ft office building and Legal & General has acquired two sites to develop around 300 homes for the build-to-rent sector. In addition, Royal London is about to start development of a new hotel and 80,000 sq ft of offices aimed at growing businesses in the technology, media and telecommunications sector, which are looking to move from incubator space, such as Engine Shed. Engine Shed itself is being expanded due to its success with the development of Engine Shed 2 over 40,000 sq ft of accommodation on the George and Railway site opposite.
Kevin Hunt, JLL’s director of planning, said: “Bristol is already home to one of the UK’s fastest growing high-tech clusters so it’s a natural base for a hub like this. We would encourage people to view the university’s plans as this is a project that will transform this part of the city. It’s not just for academics and businesses, it’s a place that will bring important benefits to Bristol’s wider community too.”
The land has been purchased from Bristol City Council.