Thousands of new homes and jobs will be created through the regeneration of Bristol Temple Quarter, thanks to £95 million in government funding, Levelling Up Minister Neil O’Brien MP announced today (Friday 10 June 2022).
Bristol’s biggest ever regeneration project will deliver up to 10,000 homes and 22,000 jobs in a series of new sustainable and inclusive communities at the heart of one of the UK’s most productive and fast-growing city regions. The funding will unlock the first phase of this scheme, with future plans to develop 57 hectares of land across St Philip’s Marsh in phase two.
The scheme will help to address regional inequalities by focusing on a highly deprived area of Bristol, delivering new affordable homes, generating skills, training, and employment opportunities while improving transport, boosting regional productivity and economic growth.
The partnership between the West of England Combined Authority, Bristol City Council, Network Rail and Homes England will bring forward the regeneration of approximately 130 hectares - equivalent to about 182 football pitches - of brownfield land.
Today’s government funding brings the total local growth investment in the West of England to £320m, in addition to £30m per year received through the West of England devolution deal.
The West of England Metro Mayor, Dan Norris, said: “I’m thrilled that the Combined Authority, that I lead, has been awarded £95m to invest in Temple Quarter one of the most exciting regeneration projects in Europe. Now we need to make sure that the buildings and infrastructure and the high skilled jobs we bring in, truly match our ambitions on tackling the climate emergency and use the skills of our amazingly talented workers to make this area something to be very proud of.
“Combine this with the refurbishment of Brunel’s iconic station and we really will have, at long last, the jewel in the crown in the heart of our great city and fantastic region.”
The funding will also support the creation of three new or significantly improved station entrances planned to the north, south and east of Temple Meads. The new entrances will mean that the station no longer severs the connections between neighbouring areas but connects them instead. The new eastern entrance to Bristol Temple Meads will make it much easier to reach the station from surrounding neighbourhoods and creates a link to the new University of Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise campus.
Transport connections will be further enhanced by the Government’s recent award of £540m through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement and a £132m rail investment with the West of England Combined Authority’s in MetroWest to improve connectivity between Bristol and its West of England neighbours.
Levelling Up Minister Neil O’Brien MP said: “Building new homes in the places they are most needed and regenerating our towns and cities lies at the heart of the Government’s levelling up mission.
“It’s fantastic to be in Bristol today to see this levelling up in action; central government working with local leaders and industry to grow the economy, delivering the high-quality new homes this country needs and breathing new life into neglected places.”
Peter Denton, Chief Executive of Homes England, said: “The Temple Quarter programme provides a step change in how regeneration can be delivered, with the public partnership steering the regeneration, inviting further investment and partnerships with world class regeneration partners.
“We are committed to working with ambitious local authorities seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure. The multimillion-pound government funding will resolve much needed improvements to the infrastructure surrounding the station, unlocking critical housing sites and allowing the partnership between the Combined Authority, Bristol City Council, Network Rail and Homes England to deliver their vision for the local community and develop a sense of place."
Today’s announcement follows plans in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to enhance powers for local authorities to assemble sites for regeneration and make better use of brownfield land, breathing new life into the places they love and boost local pride.
This is backed by a £1.8bn investment in brownfield and infrastructure projects, unlocking the homes and infrastructure that serve sustainable communities, the vast majority of which will be outside of London and the South East. The UK Government has invested £10bn in housing supply since the start of the Parliament.
The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “Temple Quarter creates the opportunity to make our city more sustainable and better connected, while providing the affordable homes, accessible jobs and training that our citizens want and need as we tackle the climate and ecological challenges.
“This announcement is extremely welcome and is the result of a productive partnership between Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority, Network Rail and Homes England that first met in 2017 to plan for the successful regeneration at the heart of the city region.
“The partnership has brought forward a realistic, integrated vision to create a thriving new area of the city that will be key to Bristol’s and the city region’s journey to becoming an inclusive and sustainable economy, boosting Bristol’s role as a major driver of the city region and Western Gateway economies. This funding will unlock the infrastructure and public spaces needed to support further delivery on homes, jobs and inclusive growth and will underpin Bristol’s connectivity, sustainability and path to carbon neutrality.”
Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route and strategic operations director, said: “We welcome this funding announcement and look forward to continuing working with our partners to revitalise Bristol Temple Quarter, including transforming Bristol Temple Meads station into a world class transport hub with three new entrances, a multistorey car park and new commercial and retail for the benefit of our passengers, the city of Bristol and wider West of England region.
“Our work to modernise the railway near Bristol Temple Meads and the renovation of the station itself is continuing to progress really well. Last summer we completed a £132m major track upgrade at Bristol East Junction resulting in a clever new track layout and state of the art signalling equipment, providing passengers with more reliable and better journeys to and from Bristol Temple Meads, while the next phase of our work to refurbish the station’s historic train shed roof is ongoing.”