The University of Bristol announces plans for a £300m campus with a focus on tech and digital

With the bold aim to reinvent what education means, students will be in for an unprecedented experience
23rd June 2017

The plans for a brand new University of Bristol campus have just been released – and the development is set to do great things for the tech cluster.

“We want our new campus to serve the people of Bristol, fuel the local economy and be a part of a regeneration we can all be proud of”

 

Costing an estimated £300 million, the campus will be located in the presently derelict area behind Temple Meads station, where the shell of the former Royal Mail sorting office is (for all you true Bristolians). The process is very much in the planning, designing and talking about it stage; and from 20 June – 7 July they need your help!

Have your say

The University is hosting a series of exhibitions at the Engine Shed and Beacon House over these dates to show off the initial proposal for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus and to receive feedback from architects, local business owners and educators alike.

Giving feedback: People examining the plans for the new campus at Bristol’s Engine Shed

 

We caught up with Professor Dave Cliff, the former Head of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, who’s now leading the academic side of the project. He tells us the campus aspires to, “move on from lecture hall note taking and be open towards alternative methods of learning.”

He adds, “We want to re-think what education means by bringing in challenged-based learning through direct experience.” The idea is to incorporate both commercial and social enterprises into the learning to ensure students will come away with a comprehensive understanding of their degree subject.

In pursuit of this, original degree courses will be curated in collaboration with industry and partner organisations to guarantee students will finish university with the correct knowledge and skills to thrive in the sector they desire to enter.

The team wish to emphasise how much they want businesses situated in the local area to get involved in the project. Later on in the process, Dave hopes real companies will be able to provide real-life problems so students can apply their learning to create solutions to these genuine issues.

Tech and digital quarter

It’s no accident the campus will be situated in Temple Quarter. The award-winning tech incubator Bristol SETsquared is currently based in the neighbouring building Engine Shed and has announced plans to expand into the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Dave tells us, “in such a productive area with the likes of Oracle and Toshiba nearby, it’s the ideal location.”

The University is urging businesses to take part in the online consultation from now until 7 July to share their views on the build. This can be anything from what you hope to see in the campus from ideas for the building’s design – you can visit Temple Quarter’s website for more information.

A bright future

We also caught up with Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, to find out what this means for the future of Bristol: “This will transform the city and University for the better. We aim to reintegrate into the community by working closely with local businesses.”

“This new world-class facility has the potential to turn a derelict site into an inclusive home for digital excellence”

 

So, why the University of Bristol? Hugh tells us, “The clue’s in the name. Bristol is a fantastic city and we want to pay back to it. Not many cities are home to a University that is in the world’s top 50 and we can benefit enormously from this.”

Upon completion, it is expected that the campus will create 17,000 new jobs over the course of its lifetime as well as contributing over £100 million a year to the city’s economy. The campaign echoes Hugh’s sentiment: “We want our new campus to serve the people of Bristol, fuel the local economy and be a part of a regeneration we can all be proud of.”

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, is also excited about the new plans: “I look forward to the development of plans for the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus planned for the heart of the Enterprise Zone.

“This new world-class facility has the potential to turn a derelict site into an inclusive home for digital excellence, offering a vast range of opportunities and building on the city’s reputation as a leading digital city.”

The University also plans to share its resources with a multitude of groups and individuals aside from typical students. There is already talk of opening the site on weekends for adult further education classes and providing meeting spaces for businesses in the area that may require it.

Construction work is scheduled to get underway in 2019 with the goal for the campus to be open in time for the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

Thanks to Dave and Hugh for taking the time to chat to us. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus and contribute to the online consultation here. Join the conversation on social media using the #TempleQuarter hashtag, you can also give the University of Bristol a follow on Twitter if ya fancy it: @BristolUni.