Cultural Plan – sharing the findings to date – drop-in event

The following has been sent out by Willis Newson who are preparing the Cultural Plan on behalf of PG Group:

PG Group and Willis Newson are inviting people living in St Pauls, Stokes Croft, Montpellier, Redland, Kingsdown, Broadmead and Cotham to find out about possible arts, heritage, cultural activities and enterprise opportunities there are for the ground floor of the redeveloped Carriageworks and Westmorland House and to share your thoughts and ideas.

The buildings have been derelict since the 1980s and have been purchased for development by Bristol based developers PG Group. Work has started on the demolition already and will complete in Summer/Autumn 2020. Central to the exciting new development is the creation and implementation of a Cultural Plan and Public Art Strategy for the site that will support the new building to thrive and support the local social, cultural and economic ecologies of the area.

For the last 9 months, Willis Newson have been having discussions with Carriageworks Action Group and PG Group and running consultation sessions, community meetings and focus groups to develop a Cultural Plan and Public Arts Strategy for The Carriageworks and Westmorland House on Bristol’s Stokes Croft.  They are keen to share the findings to date with the community in advance of the plan being finalised.

Ideas to date include a community-led process of co-commissioning and leading on a programme of activity, a market area for local artists and traders, heritage projects and a community hub space for cooking and events.

There will be a drop in at The Citadel (Salvation Arrmy), 6 Ashley Road from 2-6pm on Wednesday September 12th as well as a more facilitated presentation and discussion in the space from 6:30pm-8pm.  Everyone is welcome and hot drinks will be served.


Click here for notes of the meeting produced by Willis Newson (pdf) and for click here for the presentation boards (pdf).

Asbestos delays demolition

Bristol Post carries a story today that the discovery of asbestos in Westmorland House has delayed demolition by a further four weeks.

CAG’s understanding is that asbestos in the building was removed years ago but rather than safely remove it from the site the workers tipped some of it in the lift shaft. While this was known locally there was no hard evidence.  Consequently it would only have been confirmed by the contractors once it was safe to start excavating the lift shaft i.e. quite recently.

Just another twist for the complicated development!


Bristol 247 are also covering the issue of the asbestos and write “The developer has said the removal of asbestos could take a few weeks and has tentatively suggested demolition will proceed early September.”

St Pauls Carnival – 7 July

Carnival returns to St Pauls this weekend.  Full details at


No closures on Stokes Croft, but Ashley Road will be closed between 8am and midnight on Saturday, July 7.

The following road closures take place from 6pm on Friday, July 6 until 7am on Sunday, July 8:

Argyle Road, Bishop Street, Brooke Lane, Burnell Drive, Chapter St, Corey Close, Denbigh Street, Fern Street, Grosvenor Road, Lemon Lane, Moon Street, Orange St, Portland Sq, Thomas St, Wilder St, Wilson Place, Badminton Road, Backfields Lane, Brooke Road, Cairns Crescent, City Road East, Cumberland St, Drummond Road, Franklyn Lane, Gwen Street, Little Bishop Street, Morgan Street, Pembroke St, St Nicholas Rd, Tudor Rd, William St, Wilson St, Barnabus St, Brigstocke Rd, Brunswick Sq, Campbell St, City Road West, Dalrymple Rd, Dove Lane, Franklyn St, Halston Dr, London Rd, Newfoundland Rd, Princess St, St Paul St, Upper York St, Wilson Ave, Beggarswell Close, Brighton St, Brunswick St, Cave St, Dean St, Davey St, East Grove, Gloucester St, Hepburn Rd, Ludlow Close, Norfolk Aenue, Pritchard St, Surry St, West Grove and Wilson Drive.

Roof’s off!

First the cranes arrived:IMG-20180627-00423.jpg

Very long reach mobile crane on Westmorland House Site working at the boundary of near Dairy Croft where there is a minor three story building being demolished.




And then roof came off

IMG-20180627-00425.jpgAt last re-generation works on the Carriage Works on Stokes Croft have commenced.

The long reach mobile crane first seen on site on Tuesday 26th June has stated to remove roof cladding and other materials form the Carriage Works.

There is a great mass of steel works and timbers that need to be sensitively removed from the wreckage caused by the fire that nearly destroyed the building.

Here we can see the sky through the top story window apertures.


Photos from a Site Visit

On 7 June members of Carriageworks Action Group were given access to the site. Safety issues meant we couldn’t enter the buildings (or even get up next to them) but Wrings, the demolition contractors, were brilliant in getting us as close as possible and explaining everything that was going on.

While work has not yet started on either Westmorland House or the Carriageworks, the rest of the site has been cleared and demolition has started to a smaller building backing onto Croft Dale (Hepburn Road).


Cleared site. No.4 Ashley Road (the old Doctor’s surgery) has completely gone (we were told it virtually fell down by itself it was so weak). Once demolition is completed the archaeologists will dig an investigation trench – it’s possible that they will find fortifications from the civil war (Cromwells forces camped at Montpelier Farm in 1645 and then attacked the royalist held Priors Hill Fort, now Freemantle Sq at the top of Nine Tree Hill. Spurworks or redoubts below the fort may have been on the Carriageworks site).


Rear view of Tucketts building. Negotiations about the party wall are ongoing with the owners.


This building backs onto and is attached to Croft Dale (Hepburn Road). As a result it’s being demolished by hand. The steel cross beams visible at the top of the picture will be lifted out by crane next week (beginning 11 June).


The scaffolding has been built to cantilever out over Croft Dale, giving safe access to the upper parts of the building being demolished.


Vast amounts of rubble are being created. This pile is from the building backing Croft Dale. Much of it will be crushed and reused on site, but the total volume will exceed that which is needed, so the rest will be removed.


This is the back wall of Kuumba. There’s a significant difference in levels between Kuumba (Hepburn Road) and the Carriageworks site. The building backing Croft Dale is in the background.


The rear view of the Carriageworks. Fire went through the building many years ago so it still isn’t safe to access. There are bats inside which has caused delays in getting access. You can clearly see the roof line and northlights of the workshops that attached to the back of the building.


The rear wall of the Carriageworks is older than the frontage but of less architectural significance. You can see some of the old stonework where the more modern render has detached. The whole building is listed, so the rear wall is also protected.


Rear view of Westmorland House, completed in 1966 but only occupied for about 16 years, it has now been derelict for 26 years.


Covered in streetart / graffitti and imposing itself on the local landscape and culture, Westmorland House has echos of and almost the same age as the Berlin Wall (1961-89).



While scaffolding has been installed to give a degree of safety, the workers rarely enter. In the past however many people have been in, as evidenced by the graffitti. Tragically the inherent danger of the building resulted in a number of people losing their lives here.


Over the years the interior of Westmorland House was heavily vandalised. Asbestos ceiling tiles were pulled down and dumped in the lift shaft, making for a more difficult removal job.


The boardroom in Westmorland House was panelled with Nigerian Pear Wood and had a domed roof light just visible in this picture. You can read more about the building as it was on our stories page. All the valuables were plundered in the 1980s.


There’s a basement below Westmorland House, totally filled with rubbish, needles etc. This will all have to be cleared out before demolition can begin.


Wrings have got some very nice toys.


Familiar sight of the Carriageworks frontage. Before works begin this will be shored up which will mean narrowing of the road. First of all though Wrings need to make the interior safe engough to go inside and assess the structural strength of the building.


Frontage of Westmorland House. Beneath the building is a single storey basement that will have to be cleared and then dug out – necessitating shoring up of the road. The basement will then be backfilled in layers to help provide a foundation for the new building.


Staff on the site have created a little gallery of items and artwork discovered.

Thank you very much to Wrings and PG Group for giving us this viewing of the site.

We want your ideas for the future

The Carriageworks redevelopment, once finished, will have 200+ people living and working on the site. Over time it will develop its own character and culture and that in turn will influence the culture of Stokes Croft and all the surrounding communities. We want to find out what you think the culture of the redeveloped site should be like.

At the end of May we’ll combine all the answers into a single wordcloud and send it to PG Group, the developers, and their cultural consultants Willis Newson.  We want to ensure that the cultural plan includes everything that is part of a full and rounded life.

Just follow this link to SurveyMonkey and fill in your answer to the single question; we’ll then compile the wordcloud at the end of May.

If you want a reminder of how the site will be developed the ground floor plans are below and you can see all the plans on our website via this link.  These plans aren’t being changed. This exercise is more about the details and how the site will be used and managed in the long term.


Ground floor