By Milan Perera, Deputy Editor
The ‘Eastern Entrance’ at Bristol Temple Meads station, connecting Enterprise Campus of Bristol University with the iconic station is pressing ahead under the auspices of the local politicians and the University.
The construction site received a visit from Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and Metro Mayor Dan Norris, along with Barra Mac Ruairi, Chief Property Officer at the University of Bristol on Wednesday, November 8.
The £23m project which began its work in early October is set to connect the Temple Meads station with Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus of the University of Bristol. The construction of new gateway is taking place next to Platform 15, which will eventually form the walls of the new underpass.
The ‘Eastern Entrance’ is part of the wider Bristol Temple Quarter programme which is considered to be one of the biggest and most ambitious regeneration programmes in Europe. It is funded by £94.7m of government funding secured by the Temple Quarter partners last year.
Initial preparation of the new entrance was carried out in 2021, with funding from the Mayoral Combined Authority, to keep the programme on track before the government grant was secured.
On the progress of the project, Dan Norris, the Metro Mayor of West of England Combined Authority said: ‘I’m thrilled to see we are firmly on track to see this brand-new entrance for Brunel’s iconic station - a gateway in and out of this amazing city. It’s really going to improve access for locals east of the city.
‘It’s all part of one of most exciting regeneration projects in Europe, a major investment in the present and future of Bristol, and our West of England region, which I’m proud is being administered by my Mayoral Combined Authority’
The Enterprise Campus is equipped with 9,300m2 teaching and study space along with cutting edge research labs, spaces for collaboration, socialising, engagement, research and wellbeing. Also, the new campus is set to be car-free with an extensive green landscape equipped with new walking and cycling routes for easier access.
Professor Evelyn Welch, the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bristol hailed the new campus as ‘a bold, innovative approach to deliver benefits for all of Bristol, the West of England, and beyond.’
On the progress of the gateway, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: ‘It’s great to be on site at the first construction site under the BTQ programme after years of preparation and planning to get to this point, starting with the first Strategic Board back in 2017. It’s a sign of what organisations can do when they put their minds and effort towards a common goal, and all pull in the same direction with an openness to collaborate pragmatically and flexibly.'
Barra Mac Ruairi, Chief Property Officer at the University of Bristol reiterated the importance of the project: ‘The new Eastern Entrance will establish the Enterprise Campus in the heart of our city…It will also provide convenient, sustainable connections for our partners, staff and students to come to engage, work and study on the car-free site.’
Works are expected to finish in late October 2024, but the station entrance is not set to welcome its first passengers until September 2026 to allow the development of the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus to be completed and to then open at the same time.
Featured image: Bristol Temple Quarter Joint Delivery Team
What are your thoughts on the new campus at Temple Quarter?