Former Gardiner Haskins site to be brought back to life and 2,000 new jobs created

Property & Construction | Retail | South West

Plans for the former Gardiner Haskins site in Bristol’s historic Old Market have been submitted to Bristol City Council by mixed-use property developer, First Base.

The outline planning application for the new £175 million district will celebrate the city’s industrial past and creative culture with two new buildings and a sensitive restoration of the Grade II-listed Soapworks building, providing a mix of modern workspace, new homes, an apart-hotel, cafes and restaurants.

The new development, which is expected to deliver more than £200 million in social and economic value for the city over the next 20 years, will comprise of 140,000 sq. ft. high-quality workspace, both for large corporates and smaller, creative enterprises, 166 new homes – including affordable housing – and a green and open public realm.

A new food hall, which will celebrate Bristol’s recent accolade as the world’s best food destination, will provide space for established restaurants, pop-ups and market stalls, enabling people to come together, socialise and try a wide variety of cuisines.

The car-free scheme will include new pedestrian and cycle links, providing improved connections to Bristol Temple Meads train station and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Lucinda Mitchell, Project Director at First Base, comments: “Our plans for Soapworks will reinvigorate a site that has been at the heart of Bristol’s economy for generations.

“We are grateful to the hundreds of local residents and stakeholders who have helped shape the plans and in these extraordinary times, it’s more important than ever to build on these important relationships and provide assistance and advice where we can”.

Soapworks, which consists of 165,000 sq ft of existing buildings within a 2.25-acre site, is located on the edge of Bristol city centre, close to Bristol Temple Meads station and between the city’s business district at Temple Quay and cultural quarter at Old Market.

The existing Soapworks building dates back to the 1860s and was originally the home of Christopher Thomas & Brothers, manufacturers of soap and candles, and subsequently local furniture company, Gardiner Haskins.

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