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Bristol unveils transformative campus plans

The University of Bristol has revealed its initial vision for the new £300 million campus

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | June 23, 2017 | Estates

Known as the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, the development will be one of the city’s most significant regeneration projects in recent history.

Teaching and research on the seven-acre site, which spans the derelict former Royal Mail sorting office and part of Arena Island, will focus on digital technologies, their application by citizens, organisations and industry, and the innovation they drive. The University will also expand its successful Engine Shed enterprise hub and build a new student village together with improvements to the public realm, including new cycle and pedestrian links to the surrounding area and high-quality landscaping. 

Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “We have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine the future of our University as one of the world’s great civic universities while also transforming a key site at the heart of our city. Our new campus is very much a work in progress and we would welcome people’s feedback, on everything from education provision, research and innovation to community engagement and transport links. We don’t know exactly what it will look like yet, but we do know that we want it to feel welcoming to everyone and to be a place for the whole city to learn, explore and enjoy.”

Our new campus is very much a work in progress and we would welcome people’s feedback, on everything from education provision, research and innovation to community engagement and transport links

Although designs for the campus are in their infancy and will be informed by the outcome of the consultation, there are ambitions to develop landmark buildings and public spaces which will provide a fitting welcome to those travelling into Bristol.

There is also a strong focus on creating a welcoming space that belongs to the community, turning a brownfield site into an open campus which will benefit everyone. This might include the provision of further education and adult education opportunities or the creation of spaces for community use.

At its core lies a desire to develop a ‘Bristol approach’ to innovation which is visionary, transformative and inclusive – building on Bristol’s reputation as one of the world’s leading digital cities. The University will be working with Bristol City Council to ensure the campus complements plans for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, which is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK. Fully developed, the Enterprise Zone has the potential to attract over 17,000 jobs over its 25-year lifetime and add a further £100 million a year to the city's economy.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “I look forward to the development of plans for the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus planned for the heart of the Enterprise Zone. This new world class facility has the potential to turn a derelict site into an inclusive home for digital excellence, offering a vast range of opportunities and building on the city’s reputation as a leading digital city.”

This new world class facility has the potential to turn a derelict site into an inclusive home for digital excellence, offering a vast range of opportunities and building on the city’s reputation as a leading digital city

Many new degree programmes will be designed and developed in collaboration with industry and other partner organisations, to ensure students educated on the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus are equipped with the knowledge, skills, values and resilience to thrive and lead in our rapidly changing world.

Aside from the business community, the University has ambitions to work with a range of other partners, from community and cultural organisations to social enterprises and the NHS.

Professor Dave Cliff, who is leading the academic side of the project, said: “The new campus will focus on the digital technologies of the future and the skills, ethics, business models and infrastructure that turn digital opportunities into jobs, wealth and wellbeing that benefits the whole of society. We are working with partners, large and small, to put innovation at the heart of our campus and to build a talent pipeline of creative graduates who embrace social responsibility as well as opportunity. These graduates will be prepared to tackle global challenges that we can’t yet imagine.”  

There will also be exhibitions of the plans at Engine Shed by Bristol Temple Meads and Beacon House on the Triangle from 20 June to 7 July, plus special consultation events at Engine Shed and Paintworks.

A second round of consultation will follow in September before an outline planning application is submitted to Bristol City Council later in the year. Applications for individual buildings will follow, with further consultation in 2018/19. Construction work is scheduled to get underway in 2019 and it's hoped the campus will open in time for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. 

For further information visit www.bristol.ac.uk/TempleQuarter and join the conversation on social media using the #TempleQuarter hashtag.

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