Bristol Wood Recycling Project told to make way for £300m university campus
The Bristol Wood Recycling Project has until February 2018 to find a new home
A Bristol co-operative whose very survival depends on the support of volunteers has been told to vacate its city centre home to make way for a multi-million pound business school.
The Bristol Wood Recycling Project has until February to find an alternative site to the council-owned plot of land next to Temple Meads train station it has occupied for the past 13 years.
Bristol City Council (BCC) sold the land, including the former Royal Mail sorting office building, to Bristol University in a deal agreed earlier this year.
The university has since announced plans to knock down the sorting office, which was left to rot following the Royal Mail’s move to Filton in 1997, and replace it with a £300m state-of-the-art campus for more than 5,000 students.
Ben Moss, who is the co-founder of the Bristol Wood Recycling Project (BWRP), described their 13-year stint at Cattle Market as “incredible” but said the social enterprise must find a new site soon in order to ensure its survival.
“We are extremely thankful to the council for their support and appreciation of BWRP,” he said.
“We’ve had an incredible time and location here in the historic Cattle Market, underneath the iconic sorting office.
“Over 13 years of developing our vibrant, self-financing business model, we’ve grown from a simple idea brought to life by volunteers into a now significant enterprise with nine paid employees and a substantial social and environmental impact.
“We know that what we do has become an essential part of Bristol’s alternative economic identity and look forward to finding a new site to continue our vital work for the city.”
BWRP, which trains volunteers from the area to make furniture out of recycled wood, has saved more than four thousand tonnes of wood from landfill over its lifetime and facilitated nearly 1,000 days of work and training with volunteers.
Ben revealed there were “options” regarding the organisation’s new home, including a potential site on the Blaise Castle Estate.
But he stressed their next move will only take place if they are successful in buying, not renting, their next home.
“We really want to buy,” he added. “Renting somewhere leaves us vulnerable.”
The group is part of a national network of wood recycling co-operatives that secures contracts with national construction and building companies to collect surplus wood for a modest fee, undercutting the charge they would face to dispose of it as waste.
In 2016, community wood-recycling projects in the UK rescued more than 17,000 tonnes of wood, nearly half of which was reused.
A spokesperson for Bristol University said: “While the project is a fantastic resource for the city, it requires a fairly large site and unfortunately we’re not able to incorporate it within our plans for the new enterprise campus.”
Bristol City Council has been asked for a comment.
Really?? They seem quite pragmatic and accepting that they have to move and good luck to them finding a suitable site.Think its a damn shame they couldn't be retained on the site tbh
I think that's right, but it would be good to keep them central. I can't see it working in Blaise. Lots of volunteers, and quite a few customers will be on foot or bike.I think the BWRP knew what they were getting when they took on the site - it was always clear it was going to be developed at some point, and I don't think they paid a lot of rent to the council for it.
New £43m Bristol University tech centre predicted to create 9,000 jobs
The Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre will be the world’s first
The University of Bristol has announced plans to establish the world’s first open-access Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC), which it anticipates will lead to 9,000 new jobs and generate almost £300m for the economy in its first 10 years.
The £43m centre, which is set to open in 2021 and will be based at the university’s new enterprise campus near Temple Meads train station, will focus on taking quantum research from the lab into the commercial world.
More than 200 researchers at the university will work in partnership with companies establishing new quantum businesses.
The centre will provide affordable specialist incubation facilities for businesses harnessing the quantum advantage to create new products and services.
Mustafa Rampuri, programme manager for QTIC, said: “It’s an ideal time to take these technologies out of the lab and engineer them into commercial products and services, ensuring that the UK and Bristol region is the epicentre of a global quantum revolution.
“The opportunities are vast and very exciting. Our aim is for the facility to be an internationally recognised centre for the engineering and commercialisation of practical integrated quantum technologies, enabling companies from any sector to co-create new products and exploit the quantum advantage.”
The Government anticipates that quantum technology will be an industry worth £1bn to the UK economy in the next 10 years, boosting British business and making a real difference to our everyday lives.
Experts predict that harnessing the quantum world - the behaviour of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level - will revolutionise technology by making it faster, smaller, more secure and more useful for a wide variety of applications.
The centre is being funded by different organisations; £15m will come from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £21m from industrial partners and £7m from the University of Bristol.
First look at new car-free university campus to replace Bristol’s worst eyesore
his is what Bristol University’s new car-free city centre campus will look like when it takes over the site of one of the city’s worst eyesores.
The university has submitted an outline planning application for its £300million campus next to Bristol Temple Meads.
Seven buildings will be erected on in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, where the old Royal Mail sorting office currently sits.
The plan is to knock down the derelict building, which has been empty for more than 20 years.
It is all new
The new buildings – one of which is planned to be 25 stories tall – will transform that part of Arena Island.
With accommodation also being created for 1,500 students, it is expected to be one of the biggest projects in the city over the next few years.
The new campus will have flexible research and teaching facilities, with some of those being opened up for public use.
It will initially cater for 3,500 students, the majority of whom will be postgraduates. There will also be about 800 staff there when it is first built.
The university said the look of the new campus has been an important consideration, especially the impact on Bristol’s skyline.
The tallest building – the accommodation block – is not expected to have a direct physical impact on Temple Meads, they say.
No cars here
Environmental sustainability is a key priority for the planners. The campus will be "car-free", and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
Those going to the new site are expected to use Bristol Temple Meads, while a new transport hub will be built at the entrance to the Cattle Market site.
This will take both extended public and university bus services, with students being encouraged to use the links to shuttle between the new campus and Clifton.
A taxi pick-up and drop-off point will also be created, together with bicycle parking. Both Cattle Market and Arena Island are expected to be opened up as public thoroughfares.
The only parking available at the campus will be for blue badges and an electric vehicle charging bay.
The university said it was “working closely” with the council and residents to “pre-empt the issue of overspill parking in neighbouring streets”.
At this stage, the outline planning application will only look at the proposed density and scale of the buildings, as well as access to the site.
No specific details about appearance and layout will be submitted yet, and the university is still working to appoint a design team.
Detailed plans should be out for public consultation by Spring 2018, the university confirmed, and if things go to plan, work on the site could begin from Summer 2019.
The university expects to open the first phase of the new campus in 2021, in time for the academic year ahead.
Professor Hugh Brady, vice-chancellor and president of Bristol University, said: "For the university, the new campus provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine the civic university.
“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, 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.”
So - hopefully by the end of the summer it'll be just a nasty memory...Work begins to demolish Bristol's worst eyesore - the former Royal Mail sorting office
'It has been a blight on the landscape for many years, creating a poor impression of the city for people arriving by train,' says Marvin Rees
Work has begun – finally – to demolish Bristol’s most prominent eyesore, just 21 years after it was left empty.
The former Royal Mail sorting office has presented a dystopian vision of Bristol to passengers arriving at the city’s main Temple Meads train station, ever since the Royal Mail moved to a new home in Filton.
But now ‘enabling works’ have begun to allow the side-less office block on Cattle Market Road to be demolished in the coming months.
Contractors Kier Construction have started work, and will take three or four months to make the former sorting office ready for demolition.
This will include stripping out the building to make it safe, and removing the ramp on the eastern side.
Once empty, the site is will be transformed in to a new campus for the University of Bristol.
“I’m pleased that we are making progress towards demolition of this eyesore,” said Bristol’s mayor Marvin Rees.
“The derelict sorting office has been a blight on the landscape for many years, creating a poor impression of the city for people arriving by train.
“The start of enabling works is an important milestone towards the creation of a new enterprise campus - a new home of digital innovation and research for the University of Bristol.
“The whole city will benefit from this development. It will transform the appearance of the area and serve as a catalyst for the ongoing regeneration of the Temple Quarter,” he added.
A question mark still hangs over the future of the Bristol Wood Recycling Centre, based next door, which is still in discussions with the city council over finding a new home.
It moved there temporarily ten years ago, and has since moved to another temporary home nearby in St Phillips, but needs a permanent long-term base.
The University’s deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Guy Orpen, said he is excited for the new campus to be built.
“I welcome the start of work to clear the derelict former sorting office site to make way for our exciting new Enterprise Campus,” he said.
"Over the next few years we will be working with our partners and neighbours to turn this inaccessible derelict site into a welcoming new campus that will benefit the whole city.
"It will offer spaces for learning, research, collaboration, leisure and living, bringing life to a neglected part of the city centre and driving the further development of digital innovation in the city region.”
The initial phase of work may also include removal of the derelict Cattle Market Tavern which has been out of use for more than seventeen years and is no longer structurally sound.
A campaign to save the historic pub building failed last year.
The sorting office itself will be demolished in early summer, once preparatory work has finished