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The new university campus: The lowdown

With the new university campus set to open in the not so distant future, we take a look at all that it has in store for students.

By Layla Link 3rd year History

With the new university campus set to open in the not so distant future, we take a look at all that it has in store for students. From the buildings to transport and even the academic departments that will find themselves situated in Temple Meads, what will the campus give to the next generation of Bristol?

Located in the heart of the city between the station and floating harbour, the new university campus is set to open to the tune of £300 million. Anticipated to be opening in 2022, the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus will mark a notable contribution to the transformation of the University.

Seven new buildings will transform the old Royal Mail Sorting Office and it's nearby 'island'. The main academic building will reach five storeys high. It will have a cafe, shop, pop-up catering and lots of public events such as exhibitions and film screenings.

The Cattle Market Road site will feature two glazed academic buildings, one residential building and landscaped public spaces and new pedestrian and cycle routes joining the city centre to the east of the city. The site will sit parallel to the harbour, so it's likely that student life will start to move away from Clifton and the Triangle and more towards the waterfront.

The ground floor of the buildings will be metal clad to reflect the industrial heritage of the site. Moreover, the new buildings will also be built with rainwater harvesting, a biodiverse roof, solar panels and heat recovery system, to further increase the sustainability of the campus. Although further away from most existing cafes and restaurants, the new campus promises to develop lots of new places to eat and drink on campus, featuring a 24-hour student hub along with associated commercial outlets, such as shops, bars and cafes.

A view of Totterdown basis | Image by University of Bristol (Created by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios)

Teaching and research will be focused on digital technologies and the future of engineering. It will be home to the University's new School of Management, its Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and much of its digital engineering activity. It will include the Quantum Technology Innovation Centre.

Another major focus for the campus is connecting with business, government, local organisations, the city and communities in Bristol in new ways. It will feature the recently announced £100 million Bristol Digital Futures Institute, where academics, scientists, businesses, start-ups and others will work alongside each other to drive innovation. Some firms such as energy company OVO have already moved into the new Temple Meads enterprise zone. With the opening of the new campus in 2022, businesses are expected to move there more permanently. The site will also be close to the business centre Engine Shed which is home to the Bristol SETsquared centre. The University also has plans to work with a range of other partners other than businesses from community and cultural organisations to social enterprises and the NHS.


With around 3000 students expected to study on the Temple Meads Campus, accommodation options will need to keep pace with the population growth. Next to the academic part of the campus are plans for three tower blocks of student flats, possibly reaching up to 21-storeys, home to 953 students. Part of the new campus will be based on Temple Island, where 953 post-graduate students will be homed in three buildings surrounding a courtyard.

A computer mock-up of student accommodation | Image by University of Bristol

The building will have an impressive set of leisure facilities including a 24-hour student hub along with commercial outlets while the upper floors include a large communal roof terrace, common rooms and a biodiversity roof, in addition to the living spaces. The facilities also include a gym and outdoor fitness spaces. Shared student homes in Totterdown would be an attractive option for students in the second and third-year who use the new campus, being just ten minutes away.

plans for three tower blocks of student flats, possibly reaching up to 21-storeys, home to 953 students


The new campus is situated right next to Temple Meads station, meaning it'll be easy to get a train home for Christmas or Summer. In terms of transport to Bristol clubs, it takes approximately half an hour to walk to Triangle Clubs and would take 20 minutes on the number 8 bus. Most residential buildings will, however, only be a ten-minute walk to Motion. As part of the University's work towards being more sustainable and aiming to be carbon-free by 2030, the new campus will be entirely car-free. Plans also include a new transport hub near Cattle Market Road which will increase public bus services.

Featured Image: University of Bristol - Created by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Do you think the new campus is a welcome addition or ill advised? Get in touch!