University plans submitted for £300 million enterprise campus

View of the main academic building from platform 12 of Temple Meads Station.

Plans for a £300 million city centre campus next to Bristol Temple Meads have just been submitted by the University of Bristol.

The university wants to build ‘state-of-the-art education and research facilities’ and create a ‘welcoming and inclusive’ campus, which will be shared with local communities, city visitors and business and industrial partners.

If its outline planning proposals are approved by Bristol City Council, the university will run a public consultation in spring 2018.

Work is planned to begin on site next summer with the first phase of the new campus to be opened in time for the 2021/22 academic year.

Seven new buildings will be built on the former Royal Mail sorting office and part of Arena Island – providing a mix of  research and teaching facilities, accommodation for up to 1,500 students as well as a range of commercial outlets.

But the plan for a student accommodation building on Arena Island that could be up to 25 storeys has concerned residents including community group TRESA. At a public meeting called by the group there were worries about the ‘monstrously tall’ building and its affect on the skyline.

Patrick Finch, Bursar and Director of Estates at the University of Bristol, said the impact of the new campus on the Bristol skyline has been ‘an important consideration from the outset of the project’ and would continue through the design development.

He said:  “…The final scheme will be subject to visual impact assessment as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process.”

He also said all new buildings on the campus would comply with the latest fire safety regulations.

Another worry has been the affect of the development on transport in an already congested area.

The university has said ‘environmental sustainability would be a key priority’ – with a car free  campus which they want to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The site will be connected to the existing Clifton campus by dedicated bus routes and new walking and cycle routes will link the development with the rest of the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods.

An economic statement about the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus  says it will ‘not only make a large contribution to the economy, but also improve the image of Bristol as a place to work, live and do business’.

Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, Professor Hugh Brady, said: “…We are committed to creating a campus which both reflects our status as a world-class University and provides an open and welcoming space for the people and city of Bristol.

“Not only does the project build on Bristol’s reputation as one of the world’s leading digital cities, but it’s injecting life into a derelict site and creating unprecedented opportunities for our students and the community we’re so proud to be part of.”

The campus will initially cater for 3,500 students, who will be mostly postgraduates, and around 800 members of staff will be based there.

Teaching and research will focus on digital technologies, their application by citizens, organisations and industry, and the innovation they drive. A new £43 million Quantum Technologies Information Centre has already been announced.

There are also plans for an innovation hub with the aim of helping more start-up businesses to thrive.

The university has promised facilities will also be opened up for public use, including a training and skills centre and resources which can be used by community groups.

It is working with Bristol City Council to make sure the campus complements plans for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone – one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK.

The full outline planning application can be viewed at: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/planning-and-building-regulations/search-and-track-planning-applications

For more information about the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus visit: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/university/strategy/implementation/temple-quarter-campus/

The University is launching a quarterly e-newsletter for news, updates and opportunities to get involved with the campus development. To sign up visit: http://eepurl.com/c–FcT