Work to begin on major housing scheme at high-profile but undeveloped Harbourside site

May 7, 2021

Construction at one of Bristol Harbourside’s last undeveloped sites is to start soon following the appointment of a main contractor.

Essex-based Hills Group will build 142 homes at McArthurs Yard, an area of derelict warehouses next to the SS Great Britain. 

The site was acquired three years ago by the Guinness Partnership, the Community Benefit Society and one of the UK’s largest providers of affordable housing.

The redevelopment, pictured, with an estimated value of £25m, will provide homes for market sale, shared ownership and social rent as well as commercial space on the ground floor.

Guinness Partnership chief executive of Catriona Simons said: ““This development, which brings a long-derelict site back into use, will provide much-needed, high-quality homes.”

It is Hill Group’s first scheme in Bristol – most of the housing developer’s projects have been in London and the South East. 

Hill Group has been handed possession of the site with construction work set to begin in early summer.

Hill Group chief executive Andy Hill added: “This significant collaboration brings together our extensive expertise in delivering large placemaking schemes alongside their vast knowledge of providing affordable homes.” 

The scheme has been designed by Bristol and Bath-based architects Nash Partnership with mechanical and electrical consultant Hoare Lea and Bristol-based structural engineering consultancy Clarkebond.

McArthurs Yard was built in the 19th century as a malt house and later became the headquarters of Bristol-based metal merchant McArthur’s Group. Today the site includes several unused warehouses and other buildings. 

The Guinness Partnership was founded more than 130 years ago and now has more than 140,000 customers across the country, living in more than 65,000 homes.

Family-owned Hill builds more than 2,000 homes a year, with 6,500 homes currently under construction and a pipeline of more than 9,000.


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