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Investment of £14.5 million to transform Filwood Broadway – how will the money be spent?

Earlier this year local people celebrated the news of a £14.5 million investment for Filwood Broadway to transform the neglected high street.

The money from the government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) aims to help “restore people’s pride in the places which they live”.

The successful bid by Bristol City Council means Knowle West is one of 111 areas across the UK to benefit from a share of £2.1 billion in Round 2 of the fund – and the only one in Bristol.

The announcement which came in January will help kickstart the regeneration of the rundown street – and help fulfil the 2012 Filwood Broadway Framework vision to make it “the busy, fun and welcoming heart of Filwood”.

Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes, Labour Councillor Tom Renhard said: “The major funding we’ve secured from the national Levelling Up Fund will go a long way towards revitalising Filwood Broadway.

“The funding will help to bring new homes to the area, invest in a community centre, create space for improvements to local library services, new business and commercial space, new sporting facilities and deliver a greener and more attractive environment…”

He added that “following years of underinvestment in the area by successive administrations” they were now ensuring Filwood and many other communities across the city were “being prioritised for regeneration funding to bring jobs, homes and community facilities to their area.”

For most local people and businesses  – the regeneration of the Broadway for which they have been waiting for over a decade can’t come a moment too soon. 

Filwood Broadway Working Group (FBWG) has been working over the past few years on ideas to improve the high street.

Chair of FBWG and of Treasurer of Community in Partnership Knowle West (CIPKW) which runs Filwood Community Centre, Tim Jones says: “We are really pleased that the council has been successful in their bid. The money will enable us to do all the things that needed to be done on Filwood Broadway…

“The Public Realm work that has been planned for several years can now be completed with the additional funding from the LUF bid…”

“We would love to see it return to the vibrant street it once was…”

Vicky Beckwith, CEO of re:work

Chief Executive of re:work, a social enterprise based on the Broadway, Vicky Beckwith, says: “At re:work we are genuinely optimistic that the Levelling Up Fund could improve the facilities and opportunities on the Broadway. We would love to see it return to the vibrant street it once was. 

“The funding is coming here because of the amount of support and effort the community has put into the regeneration planning…” 

But how will the money be spent?

1.Filwood Library and Learning Centre 

The former cinema on Filwood Broadway which has been demolished for redevelopment.

The historic Filwood Cinema – which was being demolished at time of going to press – sits next to the former derelict garage site on the Broadway.

The council is bringing this site, together with land behind the high street, forward for a new development of 30 affordable homes – with work due to start in spring 2024. 

The LUF investment will develop two ground floor units on the Broadway to include a new library/learning space and retail unit – offering skills development, training and business support for the area. 

As yet, a decision has not been made as to what happens to the current library building, next to Christ the King Church, which is not included in the LUF.

LUF investment: £3,153,912. Council funding: £230,000. End date: March 2025.

2. reCREATE Filwood Public Realm 

Members of Filwood Broadway Working Group at one of the reCreate Filwood workshops.

Community workshops have been held over the past year to come up with ways to improve the underused street and draw more footfall to the Broadway.

The vision is to make it an “attractive and welcoming place to visit, shop and spend time”. 

The events – supported by the Filwood Broadway Working Group (FBWG) – have been run by the council and initially, Create Streets. 

Ideas include the need for a flexible community and events space, new seats, shelters and planting – as well as changing the road layout to make more pedestrian space and introducing traffic calming measures. 

Other asks have been accessibility improvements, new signage and public art as well as greening of the area.

Artist’s impression of what Filwood Broadway could look like. Image Bristol City Council.

Anyone is welcome to join the group for future meetings. Email FBWG at

LUF: £2,156,918. Council funding: £1,490,000  End date: March 2025.

3. Filwood Active Communities Scheme –  new Multi Use Games Area

The planned redevelopment of the old swimming pool site on the Broadway for 29 homes means a popular Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) would be lost.

Following community pressure – a new MUGA is planned for Filwood Playing Fields with funding also covering new floodlighting and improvements to facilities. 

Proposed location of the new MUGA on Filwood Playing Fields behind the community hub building . Image Bristol City Council. Below – the current MUGA which it is replacing. Picture StreetSpace.

Consultation events held this February by the council showed “strong local support” for the proposed new location. 

Ideas for the MUGA design also included fitness equipment, an obstacle course and a conversation/sheltered seating area. Residents also wanted the new play spaces to be “welcoming for everyone”. 

More events are planned later this year – including a workshop with young people around the detailed MUGA design. To get involved email:

LUF: £350,000. Bristol City Council: £300,000. End date: July 2024

Filwood Cultural Hub 

Filwood Community Centre which has been awarded just over £7.5 million to turn it into a ‘cultural hub’.

The iconic Filwood Community Centre facing the Broadway will become a new cultural hub drawing both local and wider audiences.

Built in 1938 and managed by CIPKW, the venue hosts a range of events, community groups and creative activities. But its current capacity and condition means it is unable to meet local demand. 

Just over half the Levelling Up investment will go to revitalise the building – with plans to develop the centre into a “highly visible pillar of the community”. 

This will include creating an additional floor, art gallery and music studio as well as a café, theatre and events space.

The centre’s Creative Director, Makala Cheung, has been gathering information about what local people want to see there over a number of years – and this helped inform the bid. 

“South Bristol deserves a creative, cultural event space…”

Makala Cheung: Creative Director at Filwood Community Centre.

She says: “It will mean we will have even more space for our own activities and even more facilities to help those ideas people have to come to life… 

“South Bristol deserves a creative, cultural event space to create and perform as well as welcome touring shows and events we might not normally get to see and experience…”

Treasurer of CIPKW, Tim Jones adds: “We are very grateful that the council put this in as part of the bid, we have been asking them to help us with improvements needed but they haven’t had the funds available…

“They are increasing the space so more work can be done here and it can be brought up to modern standards.”

LUF: £7,645,640.  End Date: March 2025.

5. Westside Development

The parade of properties from 4 -16 Filwood Broadway, which includes the re:work building and The Matthew Tree Project is in need of refurbishment – with two of the shopfronts permanently closed.

The council says this acts as “a barrier for investment” in the high street and the Levelling Up Fund will be used to renovate the buildings, with plans for a mixed-use development. 

LUF: £425,000. End date: March 2025.

6. Commercial Improvement Scheme 

The bid proposes to invest in a commercial improvement scheme to revitalise the parade of shopfronts on the east side of Filwood Broadway – where businesses including re:store, the Sandwich Stop and Badham Pharmacy are located.

The hope is this will contribute to the attractiveness of the high street and increase local shops and employment – with the aim of making the Broadway a “retail, residential, cultural and activity destination”.

LUF: £150,000. End date: February 2025.

Map showing the six areas where the money will be spent. Image Bristol City Council.


New wayfinding signage is planned to direct more people to the high street – which will be decided in consultation with the community.

LUF: £380,000 End date: March 2025.

High Street Recovery Funding Project

The current children’s play park on Filwood Broadway.

This will see improvements to Filwood Broadway Children’s Play Park which will be moved across to the west side of the green and increase in size. 

With a planned build in the autumn, the play area will cater for toddlers and older children up to 12 years, and have new equipment, seats and planting. Pupils from School of Christ the King have been involved in the project and their ideas will be used in the final design. 

Artist’s vision of what the new play park could look like. Image Bristol City Council.

The funding is also supporting a calendar of seasonal cultural events until September run by Filwood Community Centre and Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) – with outdoor creative pop-up events and performances. 

These have included Easter holiday activities and a Knowle West Style Coronation event on the green and will see a Community Picnic in June and Knowle West Fest on August 5.

KWMC’s Public Realm Producer Jasmine Loveys says: “These events are designed to animate the whole of the Broadway, to bring more people into the street and to celebrate the area and the Knowle Westers that live here…”

High Street Recovery Fund:

Playpark £96,416. End date: autumn 2023.

Cultural events £48,000 (until September).

Other costs

LUF Project Management: £275,000.

For more information and regular updates visit and search for the Knowle West Regeneration Project.

The council, working with the community, is currently updating the Filwood Broadway Framework vision.

The street also has its own website run by residents. Visit: