Green light for delayed regeneration scheme for Bristol Temple Meads area brings promise of 22,000 jobs

June 10, 2022

The long-awaited redevelopment of the area around Bristol Temple Meads – which could include up to 10,000 new homes as well as new entrances to the historic railway station – has been given the go-ahead under a £95.8m deal.

The flagship project is also expected to create up to 22,000 jobs and boost the city’s economy by an estimated £1.6bn over the next 25 years. 

The iconic Temple Meads station will be remodelled, with much-needed new entrances to the north, south and east, while sites behind the station – including the former gas works site, Temple Island – the site originally earmarked for Bristol’s much-delayed arena – and the wider St Phillip’s Marsh area, will be redeveloped.

The funding was announced today by levelling up minister Neil O’Brien on a visit to the city where he met West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and representatives from Homes England and Network Rail.

Redevelopment of Temple Meads – one of the few major UK railway stations not to have a major upgrade over the past couple of decades – could double its capacity to 22m passengers a year.

It will get a new concourse to its northern entrance leading into the Temple Quay area with improved retail, ticket office and passenger facilities. 

This will open up to a long hoped for new transport hub on The Friary with connections for pedestrians, cyclists and the local and citywide bus network.

A new eastern entrance will lead to the University of Bristol’s yet-to-be-built Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus as well as the redeveloped St Philip’s Marsh area and communities to the east of the station.

Meanwhile a new south entrance will include a multi-storey car park with a passenger footbridge to the station.

Network Rail Western route and strategic operations director Mike Gallop said the plans would turn the station into “a world-class transport hub”. 

Mayor Norris, pictured, added: “This is fantastic news for Bristol and the wider West of England region.

“After years of talking about it, I’m delighted the cash is winging its way to the West of England Combined Authority’s bank account ready to spend to put rocket boosters under this project. 

“This is one of the most exciting regeneration projects in Europe. Now we need to deliver

He said the buildings and infrastructure needed to match the city’s ambitions in tackling the climate emergency while the high-skilled jobs needed to use the skills of Bristol’s talented workers.

“This exciting project is also so important to put our area on the map,” he added.

“Just as people would have felt when it was first built, the refurbishment of Brunel’s iconic Bristol Temple Meads will mean as the train pulls in everyone will think, ‘I’ve arrived somewhere special’ and they’ll be completely right.”

Mayor Rees said the scheme had brought forward a realistic, integrated vision to create a thriving new area of the city.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

Mr O’Brien said: “It’s fantastic to be in Bristol today to see 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.” 

With its original passenger shed and engine shed designed and built by Brunel in 1840, Grade I listed Temple Meads is one of the oldest surviving railway terminus buildings in the world.

However, a number of ‘visions’ for its redevelopment over the past decade or so have all come to nothing.   


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