A developer has finally been found for the Carriageworks!
The Carriageworks and Westmoreland House in Bristol have been derelict for 27 years. Owned by a London property company they were a blot on the landscape for many years, although more recently they have become a gallery for the many street artists working in the Stokes Croft area.
In 2011 the Carriageworks Action Group was formed to try to bring the site and building back into active use. 2MD was selected to work with the local community to design and run a major consultation event that featured a branded rickshaw, voxpop and mass participation on the street, and attracted 1600 respondents. Emerging from that consultation was the Community Vision that has been widely praised for its process and its, well, vision.
Of course, a vision alone is merely a dream so we then had to move to the next stage of turning it into action. Since 2012 we’ve been working with CAG and Bristol City Council to go through the process of finding a developer for the site who will provide a scheme that may, if needs be, support the compulsory purchase of the site. This has been a rather tortuous process governed by procurement law and the requirements of ‘competitive dialogue’. Nevertheless, with everyone working together towards a common aim, we have managed to bring activism and regulations together and last night the developer going through to work up the scheme was selected.
Knightstone Housing Association is based in the area, has a track record of tackling complex inner city sites, and is committed to working with the local community to bring forward a successful development.
We’ll now be working with CAG, the City Council and Knightstone to design the next stage of consultation that will be taking place over the summer, engaging the community in the site designs and taking the Vision that much closer to final implementation.
Mike Day, Director of Development and Homeownership at Knightstone said; “We’re really pleased to have been invited to submit a final tender for this project. We’re committed to working with the local community to ensure that we can deliver a development that meets their needs. This is an exciting opportunity, which could allow us to build on the excellent work we’ve been doing with the City Council on regeneration projects in Bristol”
Lori Streich, Chair of the Carriageworks Action Group, said: “We’re very proud of this example of real community engagement. People in the community have the expertise, enthusiasm andinnovation that is needed to make a relevant contribution to a scheme.We are faced with a creatively demanding challenge around what shouldcertainly be one of Bristol’s most iconic settings.”