Filwood Green Business Park opens with celebration

Story by Sue Mackinnon. Pictures by Community Photographer Grace Previte.

Local residents and businesses joined Bristol City Council officials today to celebrate the opening of Filwood Green Business Park in Knowle West.

The pioneering building – started 14 months ago – forms part of the regeneration plan for the Filwood ward. It contains eco offices and workspaces and is designed to help small environmental businesses to flourish.

Opened by Lord Mayor George Ferguson, the event also included the cutting of a celebration cake created in the shape of the building.

With banghra music, performances from Cirque Bijou and eco poet Martin Kiszco as well as children’s activities for the half term holiday – the launch was a theatrical and memorable occasion.

Mr Ferguson thanked all those involved in the design and construction of the business park and said the building was “a triumph for the local area and a triumph for local people.”

He said: “This has come out of the activity of local people – it has come out of the Knowle West Board that has seen this through, it has come out of many, many people working in the city council but also well beyond. I mustn’t forget the  European Regional Development Fund … ”

.”it will be part of a really thriving community and it will have state of the art facilities… This is the beginning I hope of what is going to be a real renaissance for South Bristol.”

Filwood Councillor Jeff Lovell said the local community had been the originators of the project.and had ‘sowed the seed’ for the regeneration of the area.

He said: “..It really gives you the true value… of delivering this sort of project using your local community who worked tirelessly for years…The schools and the groups played a big part…   Filwood needs this, it t needs these opportunities…”

Dave Portingale from NEWS Independent Careers Service Ltd  in Hartcliffe ,who was exhibiting at the launch, said it was an excellent facility for the area.

He said: “Hopefully we will have an office here. It seems amazing, bright, light, a really nice space.”

Features of the Business Park, designed by architects Stride Treglown, include solar panels, green roofs and natural ventilation. The site is also close to major bus routes and accessible from new cycle paths and pedestrian links.

Furniture, much of it upcycled, has been sourced, designed and made by the Pop-Up Furniture Factory. – a local business founded by arts charity Knowle West Media Centre in partnership with social enterprise re:work.

Other plans for the area also include 150 new houses,  a large park and 24 hour football pitch with lights.

For more information view: www.filwoodgreen.co.uk