Three new entrances to Temple Meads Station, a bridge across the river, a bus interchange, car park and bus lanes on a nearby main road are all listed as part of the major regeneration of Bristol’s main train station. Those behind the project, which the Government handed over almost £100 million for earlier this year, say it will trigger the huge Temple Quarter regeneration scheme, which will see 2,476 new homes and more offices built on the land around station.
And for the first time, Bristol City Council has indicated that it is ‘likely’ that those involved in the complex project are ‘likely’ to have to set up a separate company to manage and deliver the project as it runs over the next decade or so. The latest updates and decisions on the Temple Quarter regeneration project go before the city council’s ruling Labour cabinet on Monday, for the first time in around 18 months, and the first time since Homes England finally agreed to pump £95.8 million into the project – which was announced with some fanfare earlier this year.
That money is going to a massive overhaul of Temple Meads station, that will completely change the way people access and use it. Three entrances will be created or enhanced, the most significant will be a new ‘southern gateway’, accessed from the Bath Road where Kwik Fit is now.
The new entrances and the southern gateway have been revealed before – by Bristol Live in September last year. But for the first time the full extent of the transformation of Temple Meads is beginning to emerge.
A new ‘eastern gateway’ will be created, through the wall at the end of the current underpass beneath the lines and platforms, that will give access to the the land where the old Cattle Market and sorting office sites were – these have been demolished now and are awaiting the University of Bristol to begin work on their new campus project.
The Kwik Fit site, which lies between the Bath Road Bridge roundabout and the railway lines to the east of Bath Road, will become a multi-storey car park off the main road and be the only private vehicle access point for the station. From there people will cross to the new southern entrance to the station. The ‘southern gateway’ also includes the Bath Road Bridge roundabout and a section of Bath Road as it crosses the railway lines too.
That will mean private vehicles will be barred from the historic existing Temple Meads incline, which is currently used by buses, private cars and taxis. Buses will also be redirected away to a new bus interchange created at the new ‘northern gateway’ to the site on The Friary.
The project also includes new bus lanes down Redcliffe Way to give priority to buses travelling from the station towards the city centre.
A plan of the Temple Meads ‘gateways’ project
The city council said the new Temple Meads ‘gateways’ project will ‘facilitate’ the wider Temple Quarter regeneration scheme, and once the station work is completed, that wider regeneration project can get into full swing.
Council chiefs at the cabinet meeting on Monday will also be asked to give authority to council leaders to enter into an agreement with the other parties involved – Network Rail, Homes England and the West of England Combined Authority – and the likelihood is that they will all sign up to create a separate development company to drive the project forward.
“The partners have been discussing how best to work together to deliver the programme,” the report to the cabinet from head of regeneration Abigail Stratford said. “They are exploring the establishment of a joint venture vehicle (JV) (comprising a corporate entity – most likely a company limited by guarantee) and/or jointly appointing a delivery partner to support delivery of the programme. Approval is being sought for the Council to enter into such a JVCo (should this be agreed between the partners) and authority for the Executive Director, together with the S151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer, to negotiate and agree with partners both the form, constitution and governance arrangements in relation to this body, and the role, responsibility and selection of a delivery partner,” she added.
Artist’s impression of the proposed new approach From Cattle Market Road as part of the University of Bristol’s expanded Temple Quarter campus plans
“The Temple Quarter Regeneration Programme is one of the largest re-development opportunities in the UK,” she said. “It covers around 130 hectares of land in central Bristol with the potential to create 22,000 jobs, a minimum of 10,000 homes and an economic boost of £1.6 billion per annum to the region. The programme has successfully secured £94.7m in funding from the Brownfield and Investment Land Fund (BIL) from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities administered by Homes England.
“This funding will support infrastructure improvements to the area surrounding Bristol Temple Meads Station, including three new entrances to the station. These entrances are strategic enablers that will unlock the first phase of the programme including 2,476 new homes and deliver around 2,200 jobs by 2030.
“In addition, to the significant housing and economic benefits, the programme will also deliver wider environmental and social benefits including integrated flood defences, local employment and skills opportunities, new open spaces, a network of green infrastructure increasing biodiversity and enabling low-carbon travel across the area, world class placemaking which is accessible and inclusive and sustainable new development supporting Bristol’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030,” she added.