Bristol City Council has been working with local people and community organisations to develop a long term regeneration plan for Knowle West since 2009. The idea for a ‘green’ business park on the old Hangar site came from local people and it was included in the Knowle West Regeneration Framework.
Strategic oversight and governance for the Framework comes from the Knowle West Project Board. This comprises the Ward Councillors for Filwood, Knowle and Windmill Hill, the Homes & Communities Agency and the Council’s Service Director, Economy. Local representatives from Knowle West Futures (the Neighbourhood Development Forum) also attend.
The downturn in the economy meant that a private sector develop was unlikely to take forward a new business park in this regeneration area, so Bristol City Council successfully applied for £5.495m ERDF funding to make it happen. The project has also received £6.236m funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund.
A condition of the grant was that the design should meet the highest environmental standard – BREEAM Outstanding. A Design Team was therefore appointed with a good track record in creating sustainable projects – Stride Treglown, Sweett Group and Halcrow, now part of CH2M Hill.
In planning the wider development of Filwood Park, an Enquiry by Design process involving local people was co-ordinated by the Homes & Communities Agency, then owners of the site. This process was recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as an example of Planning Excellence in their 2013 Awards. The Outline Planning permission granted was for the green business park, 150 new homes and an improved park area.
Local stakeholders were then invited to take part in a Design Charette, which produced the final layout and form of the business park. Ideas from local people have been incorporated into the design, such as a green roof.
The business park opened on 28th May 2015, and has been successfully attracting small and medium sized businesses and start-ups since then.
As part of the project an experienced Advisory Board has been brought together. Members have a wide ranging expertise in small workspace management, business incubation, green business, social enterprise, academia and property.
This professional network aim to help link the businesses at the Business Park with the wider economy and with current support initiatives for enterprise, innovation and growth.
The adjacent residential development will start in 2016, one of a number of new housing schemes being brought forward in South Bristol.
The project has received funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership Revolving Infrastructure Fund, which is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
The Filwood Green Business Park project is part financed by the South West European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Competitiveness Programme for SW England, Axis 3 Urban Enterprise. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit