Final go-ahead for new £500m University of Bristol campus near Temple Meads

Work on the University of Bristol's new campus will begin next month after contracts have been signed with construction company Sir Robert McAlpine.

The £500 million regeneration project by Temple Meads station will become the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus.

It will be home to the Business School, digital engineering research groups, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre.

Around 4,600 students and 650 university staff will work at Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus - along with 900 student accommodation units.

The new campus will be home to 4,600 students Credit: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Prof Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said it has been a landmark day: "This is a huge opportunity for the university, not just to grow its student number, although that is important, but also to enhance innovation.

"The campus has been designed to meet the needs 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.

"This is a great day for the University of Bristol and the city of Bristol. We've done this together."

Building the new campus is the first phase of the regeneration project. Over the next 20 years, the rest of Temple Quarter and St Philips Marsh will be transformed.

This will lead to 22,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes, shops, community spaces, offices and Temple Meads will gain new entrances to the east and north of the station.

The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said the whole regeneration project will bring a £1.6 billion annual boost to the city's economy.

He said: "We want to make sure that it's local people that benefit. That would be local skills, individuals who are skilled and can work on these construction sites.

"How can we get those local businesses in the Bristol area who put floors down, fit windows, lay wires, do the plumbing to be onsite and get the benefits of this economic opportunity"

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, says local companies and workers will be employed to build the campus

But it has taken a long time to get to this point. In 2012, the original 70 hectare TempleQuarter Enterprise Zone was officially designated by the Government.

In the following years, more land was acquired and jobs identified by the potential of the site. Plus the pandemic and securing further funding also delayed plans.

In 2019, the derelict Royal Mail sorting office was demolished. The site was was initially earmarked for the Bristol new YTL arena. But after a u-turn by Bristol City Council, it is now being built in Filton.

The derelict Royal Mail sorting office was demolished in 2019 to make way for the development

People waiting at Temple Meads station were pleased that something is finally happening to the site which, they say, has been neglected for so long.

One said: "Well I love Bristol, and it's my home. I love coming back here. But you don't see the best of it on the train. This area has been a bit run down for a while. So having something new and nice to look at would be good.

Another added: "It would be fantastic if it becomes more modern and just a more beautiful place to live."

The first students are expected to arrive in September 2026 as work begins on what has been hailed as one of Europe's biggest regeneration projects.