Bristol’s Wapping Wharf to apply hugely successful shipping container concept to shared work space

New proposals for the latest element of Bristol’s highly successful Wapping Wharf development have been published.

CARGO Work, an innovative new building made up of approximately 90 converted shipping containers within the walls of a former warehouse, will offer contemporary co-working space in the heart of the city.

The space, which will feature an atrium and decking on the roof, is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, including freelancers, clusters of people wanting to work collaboratively and entire office teams.

Following the huge success of CARGO, a collection of independent restaurants, food, leisure and retail outlets housed in converted shipping containers on Bristol’s harbourside, developer Umberslade has been inundated with requests for flexible work space.

Designs for the disused J S Fry warehouse, on the corner of Wapping Road and Cumberland Road, near the Louisiana Pub, will expand the much-loved shipping container concept into the highly sought-after shared offices sector.

Under the plans, the existing listed warehouse walls will be restored and new, contemporary workspace for up to 350 people will be built inside. The scheme will also include some car parking, a café area with outside seating, a shower suite, 24-hour access, a drying room, lockers and secure bicycle store for more than 70 bikes.

The creation of CARGO Work will mean bringing the warehouse plot, which has been derelict for many years, back into commercial use. This comes as the much-anticipated £43 million second phase of the harbourside development, one of the city’s largest regeneration projects, is set to get underway next month.

Stuart Hatton, director at Umberslade, said:

“It’s fantastic to see that CARGO at Wapping Wharf has become so popular. Quite apart from the shipping containers, what makes the place unique is the extraordinary community of business people based there and how they support each other.”

“We hope to replicate that sense of entrepreneurial spirit and mutual support in this new co-worker space, having had numerous requests for work space at Wapping Wharf.

“What’s more, the Fry’s warehouse has stood empty for many years so it’s particularly exciting to think we can bring jobs and economic opportunity back to a place with such a strong industrial heritage.”

Wapping Wharf is widely acknowledged as one of Bristol’s most exciting new neighbourhoods, with nearly 200 homes already complete and occupied, and work starting next month on a further 250, part-funded by £23.4 million of investment from Homes England.

A consultation on the plans with local residents and people working in the area has launched prior to finalising the scheme and submitting planning and listed building applications. An existing planning consent is already in place for a previous office scheme on the site.