Westmoreland House

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Original article April 2011

Bristol City Council has agreed proposals aimed at breaking the deadlock over Westmoreland House which has stood derelict for many years.

Westmoreland House

The council’s Cabinet of leading members, which met on 3 March 2011, agreed that if efforts to purchase the property through negotiated agreement with the owners failed, it would seek a compulsory purchase order (CPO) and a partner to re-develop the site with.

Watch the Cabinet discussion and decision (10 mins): Webcast of Cabinet meeting 3 March 11

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) recently agreed grant funding to assist the project.

More recently, ward councillors held a public meeting to enable the council to hear the views of local residents on how to develop Westmoreland House.

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43 thoughts on “Westmoreland House

  1. The most neglected of all Bristols urban assets, It would be amazing if it could truly reflect the creative edge of the city, thus far this is little evident when you first come here, for a city with such a huge creative community there is so little evidence of it on street level, yes there is a lot fo cool grafftti and now a lot of cafe culture and varying art projects kicking off, but nothing that truly is the essence of Bristol I feel, our own projects included, its a big diverse community, Stokes croft is the front line of this battle between gentrification and alternative culture, the two are too often blurred and the former often over takes the latter.

    Westmoreland is the last of the industrial dinosaurs in the city centre, just saved from the luxury flat market, what happens now, create something truly unique and accessible, its in many ways our last chance, a chance for something gritty, rootsy and real, instead of the shiny shiny facade that gets plastered over any thing that comes from the alternative side of things.

    Its the giant turd waiting to be polished into a jewel, any one up for some elbow grease or do we just wait another 25 years til some corporate vultures begin to circle once more? Come on Bristol lets have a least one building in the city that really represents what the city is!!!!!!

  2. This is another instance of where it would be a good idea to have better public transport in and around the centre of Bristol, not just to the centre of Bristol. Why isn’t there a bus from the University to Stokes Croft down Park Row?

  3. Chris, to start yes I have been in to Stokes Croft after 10pm and yes part of me agrees with you it does have a lot of rough sleepers and some will say high crime rates. however I am interested to know what exactly you are trying to point out? Theres is a buzzing music scene in Stokes croft and although a lot of the clubs have closed down now it is still very popular amongst people who are looking to see live bands or maybe dont want to head in to the depths of town on a saturday night. In my opinion Stokes Croft has a lot of potential and if we were to actually do something about the area by adding interest that is going to bring people to the area and stop these negative judgments maybe it would become a more well used space where people want to visit and the people who live there already will have a nicer area to live in and be able to support local independent shops and businesses. I think it would be a good idea also to offer more hostels and places for the people sleeping rough to stay. However I’m not sure whether you have ever worked closely with homeless people because in my experience most would just like an opportunity of a permanent decent place to live that they could take a pride in and become a valued member of their community.
    I would be interested to know how you would like to see the area develop as you dont say this in your tirade.

    • I would also like to add that the “cafeteria place that seems to have popped up witch has nothing to do with the real Stokes croft” is called the Canteen and if you have visited Stokes Croft you will see it is constantly packed both day and night, and has began to bring people back to the area.

  4. Good to hear that invitations to tender for the independent facilitator’s role are now going out. The deadline for applications is 10am on 11th July 2011

    The steering group was impressed by the work of the Brooks Planning Group in St Werburghs and their Community Plan for the old Brooks Laundry site – further details at http://bit.ly/brooksstw This is the sort of output that the facilitator will be expected to produce.

  5. Stokes Croft is a very individual area with the potential to be something very special. It would be nice to see a gallery space in which people can exhibit their work for free. This would give people an area in which to show off their work and this way it can also be preserved. ( I think the graffiti brightens up the area – however I know a lot disagree). The bottom floor of the building would work great as a fresh food market. If people really are unhappy about the newest addition to Stokes Croft, Tesco, then surely this is the best way to have any sort of impact. If there was a fresh fuit, veg, bakery, meat and fish market on a weekend, people would shop for their produce there impacting on Tesco and bringing Stokes Croft back to a independent area full of small thriving independent retailers. As well as food, there could also be stalls selling peoples hand made products. Stokes Croft strikes me as a very arty area and hand made bracelets, blown glass etc. could sell really well and attract people to the area as it would be offering something different. Hopefully this would draw people from the centre for a option of a different style of shopping. Stokes Croft has the potential to be a really popular and upcoming area. Lets make it that way.

    • Can I ask you where you live Laura as you don’t seem to know the real Stokes Croft, have you ever been there after 10pm? You will have to run the gauntlet of rough sleepers and drinkers or avoid the drugs being sold in the dark. I am not sure on the real crime figures but it;s not the arty area you seem to think it is. The only place I have seen arty is that “cafeteria place that seems to have popped up witch has nothing to do with the real Stokes croft.
      Will people who bother to put comments on here start with a quantification on why they fell they know the area (and if anyone who uses the prostitutes wants to make a comment then go for it) If you want to take all the users and residents into account you need to include the prostitutes and the users of the hostels in the area as they make up a large section of the real community and not the transient types that want to come in and out and put things for there fun in when the residents need a real say but because of the way society judges them they wont get taken into account.

  6. Any project should be self financing and viable. Some of the community uses suggested are likely to place a long term burden on council tax payers. The most important thing is to get the site redeveloped, whilst respecting the character of the area. This may mean the need for housing / retail, which could financially support community uses as well.

  7. Whatever happens to the building, please could you preserve the fantastic graffiti art (eg. the skull and alligator). It is a wonderful sight and has become a local landmark.

  8. Waste More Land could be transformed to three storey swimming pool open all night with huge windows overlooking lively area or one bedroom… prison cells. Velodrome? Beanbags lounge? Black House? Museum with no objects and thousands of questionable ideas. I’m really excited. Can’t wait for propositions.

  9. I keep seeing this comment about “community based” this is going to get a lot of grief but can’t we say that to be able to have a say in this you need to be a tax payer and living in the area, I saw a comment by one person saying the area could be good or a Flashpoint” as if some form of threat was suggested; what is going on in Bristol now, do you get what you want by throwing things into the street and turning cars over?
    I was brought up to understand the way to get things changed was to be involved and that is why I join in with these discussion groups and I am fed up with things being decided by polititions worried about an adverse public reaction and trying to please too many people and in result doing very little (take the mass transport system as an example, or the conference centre) We need this sorted urgently and not left to be decided just in time for the next local elections.

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