Bristol’s Watershed has submitted a Pre App to Bristol City Council to discuss their ambitious plans to expand the space.

Planning to house four cinemas, five flexible event spaces, the Pervasive Media Studio and new incubation and grow-on Studios, to sustain the growth of new talent and ideas.  The building will increase from 4,400 sqm to 6,360 sqm with new workspace for 100+ creatives in the four floors above the rear of the existing building.

The Pre App begins a phase of  discussion and exploration with stakeholders, public, artists, industry, neighbours and partners that is expected to run until March 2019. With the findings of this discussion published alongside a timetable for progression after a period of evaluation.

Clare Reddington, Creative Director and CEO said, “Watershed’s expansion is a project driven by the why rather than what we will do. It is about fulfilling increasing demand from people who want to visit, work and co-locate with us. It is about celebrating the new ideas that are developed under our roof and giving them increased visibility in the heart of the city. It is about ensuring our building is the most welcoming and inclusive space it can be. A bigger shed is a bigger home for creativity and will be a powerful celebration of Bristol’s flourishing cluster.”

The planned expansion aims to keep environmental sustainability at its heart. New spaces will improve access and accessibility by extending its ground floor street front presence with improved physical access to the upper floors of the building. There are also plans to improve toilets and facilities, including for people who are disabled and young children plus the introduction of gender-neutral facilities.

Miriam Randall, Executive Director said, “As well as increasing our capacity for creativity and inclusive innovation, our new expanded building will radically improve our sustainability, securing a bright future for our historic building and boosting the resilience of our economic model. Sustainable design and energy efficient facilities and materials across our workspaces, studios, cinemas and event spaces will transform our environmental impact and significantly improve the visitor experience.”

Watershed will be hosting a number of open meetings which will be advertised as part of its public programme and will be meeting with interested groups and stakeholders. The first open meeting will be on 10th January 2019 at 6pm in Pervasive Media Studio and is open to all. You can book a free ticket here. You can read more about the reasons behind the plans on their website.

Geraint Evans