Plans for Soapworks site announced

Tue 18 June 2019, 6:49 am

A £175m mixed-use development scheme is planned for the landmark site of the Soapworks in Bristol that will include new homes and an apart-hotel.

Property developer First Base will work with Bristol City Council to create the new district that will also offer modern workspaces, restaurants and cafes.

The Soapworks is located on the edge of Bristol city centre and has 15,329 sq m of existing buildings. It is found between the city’s business district at Temple Quay and cultural quarter at Old Market, and is close to Bristol Temple Meads train station.

The principal Grade II-listed building at the site dates back to the 1860s, and was originally the home of soap and candle manufacturers Christopher Thomas & Brothers.

Gardiner Haskins, Bristol’s largest independent department store, bought the site in 1958 and has used it as a showroom for its range of homeware.

First Base has now acquired the freehold of the site from Gardiner Haskins, and Soapworks will be its first project in the region.

Barry Jessup, director at First Base, said: “Soapworks has a rich history and has been at the heart of Bristol’s economy for generations.

“Our vision is to revitalise the area creating a mix of modern workspace, homes and amenities which respond to the local need and Bristol’s emergence as a popular destination for business and leisure travellers.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a new district in one of the UK’s most dynamic cities and we look forward to working with Bristol City Council and the local community to develop our plans.”

Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Paul Smith, said: “We are delighted to welcome developers First Base to Bristol and we look forward to working together to maximise the potential of these important buildings.

“Their investment in the city will deliver a genuine mix of homes, including affordable housing, jobs for local people and useable public spaces.”