Green light for Wapping Wharf’s plans to extend hugely successful shipping container concept to workspace

The go-ahead has been given for plans to create innovative new workspace at Wapping Wharf, Bristol’s popular new harbourside neighbourhood.

CARGO Work, a new building made up of approximately 90 converted shipping containers within the stone walls of a former warehouse, will mark Wapping Wharf’s first foray into the offices sector.

This unique new space, which will feature an atrium and decking on number of levels including the roof, will cater for around 250 people across a number of businesses.

This latest element of Wapping Wharf follows the huge success of CARGO, a collection of independent restaurants, food, leisure and retail outlets also housed in converted shipping containers within the quarter.

At CARGO Work, developer Umberslade hopes to replicate the sense of community and entrepreneurial spirit that has emerged among the independent businesses within CARGO and the wider Wapping Wharf quarter, creating a space where workers can collaborate and make new connections.

Under the plans, drawn up by Alec French Architects, the walls of the disused J S Fry warehouse – which were formerly part of the old Bristol Gaol – will be restored and new workspace will be built inside. This will mark the return of this site to commercial use, as the warehouse, on the corner of Wapping Road and Cumberland Road, near the Louisiana Pub, has stood empty for many years.

The scheme – which will have five levels including ground floor – 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. Space ranging from 1,500 sq ft up to 22,000 sq ft will be available.

Stuart Hatton, director at Umberslade, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the way Bristol has embraced Wapping Wharf, so it’s fantastic to be able to expand into the workspace sector, meeting the strong demand from businesses for a high quality, unique working environment in the very heart of the city.

“At CARGO Work, we are taking an unusual approach to creating the building as we’ll be adapting the shipping containers and using them as ‘building blocks’ to create a completely unique, bright and airy building with a real industrial dockside feel about it.

“People working at CARGO Work will not only benefit from being close to the vibrant cultural, leisure and economic hub of the city, but will be able to enjoy the incredible array of independent restaurants, cafes, shops and more right on their doorstep, not to mention the beautiful harbourside setting.

“We have already received huge interest in CARGO Work so it’s excellent news that we can now press on with turning our exciting plans into reality. ”

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

Thanks to the use of the shipping container approach, Umberslade can deliver CARGO Work quickly meaning works are due to start before Christmas with completion expected towards the end of 2019.

Enquiries should be made to joint agents on the scheme, Williams Gunter Hardwick and Lambourn Commercial.