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Contracts signed for work to begin on University of Bristol’s new world class campus

Public realm viewed from Temple Meads Eastern Entrance Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

View from Exchange Hall up through internal atrium Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

View from Totterdown Basin Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Press release issued: 3 April 2023

Work on the University of Bristol’s new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus – a total investment of around £500 million - will get underway next month after the University signed contracts with construction company Sir Robert McAlpine.

Opening in 2026, the campus at Cattle Market Road, next to Temple Meads Station, will enhance the University of Bristol’s reputation as a global destination for world-leading research, education and innovation.

The site will be home to 4,600 students and 650 university staff who will come together with business and community partners to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. Residential accommodation on Temple Island will provide living space for around 900 students.  

At the heart of the campus, on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office, a 38,000 sqm academic building will be home to the University’s Business School, digital engineering research groups, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre and provide dedicated facilities for enterprise and community partners.

The campus will strengthen the data science, digital innovation, creative industries, cyber and quantum technology sectors that are already flourishing in Bristol and the West of England.

In addition, the campus will also be a hub for local communities who will be welcomed on site to use the facilities and open spaces. Parts of the campus have been shaped in consultation with civic and community partners as dedicated spaces for groups to work together to address local, national and global challenges. At the evenings, weekends and during university holidays, local people are invited to take part in lifelong learning programmes, events, festivals and research activities.

Plans for the site were revised in light of the pandemic, which not only paused the development due to its impact on the construction trade, but also shaped the University’s vision for the campus. As a result, timelines have been adjusted and some of the spaces in the main building have been redesigned to allow greater flexibility and digital innovation for the future.   

The new academic building will accompany the University’s TQ Research Hub, opened in 2022, at nearby Avon Street. Phase one of the Research Hub houses the University’s Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI), who are pioneering transformative approaches to digital innovation. MyWorld, a University of Bristol-led programme for creative technologies, will join BDFI in early 2024. In September, the University’s Dental School will move to new purpose-designed premises on Avon Street. 

The campus, a minimum of 50 percent of supplies for which will come from within a 30 mile radius, is a catalyst for the wider redevelopment of Bristol Temple Quarter, the UK’s largest regeneration project. It will create 22,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes and new purpose built student accommodation developed by third party providers. It will also introduce more inclusive routes into education and bring £1.6 billion a year to the city economy. With a refurbished Bristol Temple Meads station at its heart, the area will become a world-class gateway to Bristol and the West of England. With a new entrance opening directly onto the campus, it will also join the city centre to the east of Bristol with new walking and cycling paths.  

The University of Bristol is working closely with Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority, Network Rail and Homes England to achieve these aims.  

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “Today really is a landmark day – not just for the University of Bristol but for the city as a whole. The Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus has been designed to meet the needs and nurture the aspirations of our students, staff and partners across the city and the wider region. It provides outstanding facilities to build on our collective strengths in research, innovation, learning and societal change. We are delighted to be working with Sir Robert McAlpine to bring these new facilities to life.” 

Jack Boyer, Chair of the University of Bristol Board of Trustees, said: “It’s fantastic to sign the contracts that will enable building work on this world class facility to get underway. The new campus will be a place to exchange ideas and build vital skills and will open up even more opportunities for us to deliver on our strategic ambitions and meet the needs of our local communities.” 

Sir Andrew McAlpine, Partner at Sir Robert McAlpine, added: “This state-of-the-art academic facility at the heart of Bristol Temple Quarter’s regeneration project will bring huge socio-economic benefits to the city and the region. We look forward to working with the University of Bristol to bring their vision for the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus to life. Our teams of experts take pride in delivering outstanding facilities and making a long-lasting, positive impact on local communities for future generations.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Temple Quarter will help deliver even more of the sustainable homes, innovation, jobs, and infrastructure that Bristol needs, including for the communities in and around the regeneration area. Delivering the University of Bristol’s new Enterprise Campus will help our city continue to strengthen its position at the centre of our regional economy. This is another milestone for Temple Quarter, after we secured £95 million last year to help transform Temple Meads. Our landmark investment will help to unlock 22,000 new jobs and 10,000 new homes in this part of our city – bringing a £1.6 billion annual boost to Bristol.”

Dan Norris, Metro Mayor for the West of England, said: “This is another important step on the way to the regeneration of Temple Quarter - bringing much-needed new homes for Bristol residents and creating new jobs for our skilled workers. The University of Bristol’s Enterprise Campus is a key part of these plans – bringing together the West of England’s brightest and best thinkers and businesses all under one roof and enhancing Bristol's reputation as a global destination for innovation and strengthening our West of England region’s role as an economic powerhouse. After so many years of talking about hopes and aspirations for the area, this is another step along the way creating that fitting gateway to Bristol, and the West of England – one which will make our region an even better place to live, work and thrive.”

AECOM has supported the Temple Quarter programme since 2017, working as the University of Bristol’s project and cost consultants. They will continue to support the University through the construction of the new campus. The AECOM project team is led by Steven Jenkins, National HE Sector Lead. Osborne Clarke advised the University on the construction procurement and contracts for the projects.

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