Midlands firm submits £30m application for Redcliffe Wharf mixed-use scheme

The Coventry company behind many of the city’s regeneration projects has submitted multi-million pound plans to transform an historic waterfront site in Bristol using the best ideas from its Midlands projects.

Complex Development Projects (CDP) has lodged proposals with Bristol City Council for a £30 million mixed-use scheme at Redcliffe Wharf which is one of Bristol’s last high-profile waterfront sites.

The urban regeneration specialists plan to create a major new eco office building, 36 apartments, restaurants, cafes and workshops surrounding a new waterfront square. The design, by local architects Alec French, incorporates many of the original harbour-side features and restores historic stone warehouses into craft workshops. A pedestrian walkway will be created around the harbour side along with an open area for public events. Twelve moorings for pontoon berths have also been included in the plans.

The Bristol office of international engineers Arup plan to move its 350 employees to the new major flagship sustainable building as the anchor tenant for the scheme.

Ian Harrabin, Managing Director of CDP, said it was exciting to be involved in such a high-profile scheme, but also a challenge on a difficult site that has lain derelict for over 30 years.

“The project uses many elements from our recent schemes in the Midlands such as Stuart Works in Stourbridge and FarGo Village, Electric Wharf and Priory Place in Coventry,” he said.

“We have built a reputation for working alongside local authorities to breathe new life into derelict areas and we have worked closely with Bristol Council over the past four years to bring forward an exemplary scheme for this highly visible site. Councillors came to Coventry to see our previous schemes before we were selected as their partner and were clearly impressed.

“As well as 350 Arup staff moving from another base in Bristol to Redcliffe Wharf, the development will create around 200 new jobs which is another positive boost for the local economy.

“Waterfront locations and heritage are a powerful lifestyle attraction and most of our Midlands projects have one if not both of these. In Coventry, we are working on major initiatives around the River Sherbourne with Historic Coventry Trust in the city centre and as part of the 70-acre Heritage Park. We also have big plans for a major regeneration of the canal area in Smethwick which follow on from the completion of restored canalside warehouses in Stourbridge. Combine this with the vibrancy of Fargo Village, which had 350,000 visitors in the past 12 months, and you have a winning formula.”

Phil Wood, Arup Bristol office leader, said: “CDP’s plans for Redcliffe Wharf represent an exciting new step for Arup Bristol. For more than 40 years, we have been based in the city centre and our planned new office – one which our engineers and technical specialists will design with Alec French Architects – will keep us at the heart of this dynamic and creative city.

“Arup is one of the largest employers of engineering and specialist technical consultants in Bristol. With our numbers in Bristol now at 350, our new office will be designed to maximise sustainability and occupant well-being.”

Subject to planning permission, work should start early next year and the site will be fully open by late 2019.