Bristol's Galleries shopping centre to be demolished and redeveloped

July 22 2022
Bristol's Galleries shopping centre to be demolished and redeveloped

BRISTOL'S city centre will undergo another major transformation when the Galleries shopping centre is shut, demolished and redeveloped.

Plans have been unveiled to replace the indoor mall and car park with 450 new homes, offices, student flats, a hotel, shops, and cafes, including a 28-storey apartment tower that would become the tallest building in Bristol.

The Galleries, which opened in Broadmead in 1991, would close in 2024 if the plans go ahead, with the new homes, offices and shops ready by 2027.

Developers Deeley Freed have published details of the plans, which they have been working on for two years, as part of a consultation, which runs until August 15.

They said: "The shopping centre is facing significant challenges, including a 35% drop in footfall from pre-pandemic levels.

"The current situation, accelerated by the pandemic, isn’t sustainable. However, it provides an exciting opportunity to reinvent this city centre site, and address many of the city’s priorities.

“We’re really keen to get your feedback. Are we going in the right direction, can these proposals be improved, and have we missed anything?”

The tower block would be two storeys taller than Castle Park View, another tower recently built overlooking the park from the east. Much of the frontage along the park, currently shut off from the street, will be open for new shops and cafes.

Deeley Freed says the new tower would have 240 flats and the development would also include accommodation for 800 students, 230 other apartments, a 300-room hotel, offices and ‘flexible workspace’ with the potential to accommodate 2,800 workers and 5,200 square metres of space for shops and cafes. At least one in five of the new homes would be classed as ‘affordable’ - for below-market rent or shared ownership schemes.

Behind the redevelopment scheme is Deeley Freed, a property developer headed by David Freed, who currently also leads the Society of Merchant Venturers.

After the initial public consultation ends the developers plan to hold more public engagement events this autumn, before submitting an outline planning application early next year.

More details can be found on the website galleriesfuture.com.

Once Bristol's flagship shopping centre, within seven years of opening the Galleries faced abigger rival at the Mall, Cribbs Causeway.

The opening of Cabot Circus in 2008 saw many major chains move out and the centre lost more than a third of its value between 2011, when it was sold for£50.1 million, and 2019, when it was sold for £32m.

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Picture: How the new development could look, according to Deeley Freed