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Views sought on University's future plans

Press release issued: 25 November 2005

People who live and work in Bristol are being invited to give their views on an ambitious masterplan drawn up to shape the future of the University’s precinct.

People who live and work in Bristol are being invited to give their views on an ambitious masterplan drawn up to shape the future of the University’s precinct.

The aim of the masterplan is to guide developments over the next 10 to 20 years that will help secure the University’s place among the world's top teaching and research institutions.

There will also be important economic and environmental spin-offs for Bristol and the South West region.

The University plans to invest some £250 million in facilities and staff over the next five years alone.

The masterplan will ensure that changes to the precinct that result from this and from subsequent investment fit within a well thought-out framework.

The University’s intention is to hold undergraduate numbers at close to their present level – about 12,000 – but to raise the standard of facilities for teaching, learning and social activities, create more and better research space and improve the overall physical environment for students, staff and the public. There will be some growth in postgraduate numbers.

As well as outlining new building proposals, the masterplan highlights opportunities to conserve historic buildings on St Michael’s Hill and enhance important landscapes such as Royal Fort Gardens.

It also sets out proposals for improving public access through the University, creating a safer, more attractive environment. Better ways of managing traffic – in Tyndall Avenue, for example – are featured as well.

The area covered by the plan stretches from Cotham Hill down to Park Row and from Priory Road/Elton Road and University Road across to St Michael's Hill.

Bristol City Council and the University are holding a six-week public consultation exercise starting on Monday (November 28) so that local people can see and discuss the proposals.

Leaflets are being hand-delivered to households and premises in the area and advertisements placed in the press to tell people how they can get involved.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eric Thomas, said: “We want to make the best possible use of the opportunities available to us to develop the precinct in ways that meet our needs but are also beneficial for the city as a whole. The views of people who live or work locally will help us get this right.

“The University – already in the UK’s top 10 and the world's top 50 – is on an upward trajectory with exciting implications for the wider community in Bristol and the South West.”

Councillor Barbara Janke, Leader of Bristol City Council, said: "The city council is well aware of the importance of ensuring the University is fully integrated with the rest of the city and the need to invest in its facilities in order to stay amongst the UK's top universities.

"In working with them to produce this draft masterplan, the aim has been to see how their aspirations can best be met, whilst protecting and enhancing the character of this historic part of Bristol.

"We are very interested to see whether local people feel this has been achieved and welcome their views on the plans."

The masterplan documents, drawings and a model will be exhibited from November 28 to December 9 at the University’s Senate House in Tyndall Avenue.

On December 6, between 10am and 4pm, members of the University, their design team and officers of the City Council will be on hand at the exhibition to discuss the proposals with visitors in person.

From December 12 to January 9 the exhibition will be at the City Council’s offices at Brunel House in St George’s Road and a further open session with the team will be held there between 5pm and 8pm on December 15.

Anyone interested can also view the masterplan documents on Bristol City Council’s website and make comments through an online questionnaire.

Details can also be viewed at

The documents will also be available in the Central Library and local libraries in Clifton, Cheltenham Road and Whiteladies Road.

Views expressed during the public consultation process will be analysed and taken into account in preparing the final version of the masterplan, which will go forward for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document.

Once adopted, this will sit alongside existing planning policies and help the Council and the University work together to achieve the objectives outlined in the masterplan.

Any specific proposals coming forward for new development would, however, still have to go through the City Council’s statutory planning and consultation process.

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