Independent retailers line up for space in St Catherine’s Place
A range of independent Bristol retailers and a gym operator are now in discussions about taking space in Bedminster’s £5M revamped St Catherine’s Place Shopping Centre as the Bedminster Business Improvement District (BID) team publicly backs the revised plans.
Artisan bakery Bristol Loaf, which operates a highly successful café bakery in Redfield, has confirmed its interest in opening a second outlet in the newly refurbished shopping centre. Discussions are also underway with a local food retailer, an independent Bristol-based coffee shop group, local delicatessen operators and a well-known gym operator, marking an unusually high level of retail interest ahead of planning approval.
Bedminster BID, which represents 350 local businesses, has also expressed its strong support for the proposals, which include a new £3M three-screen cinema with a café-bar, run by independent Scott Cinemas, owner of the popular Orpheus Cinema in Henleaze, making the area a fantastic destination as well as a great place to live, shop and work.
The proposals for the major regeneration scheme at St Catherine’s Place in Bedminster are for a mixed-use development creating over 200 new homes, together with new shops and leisure facilities, all within a high quality public environment.
The existing shopping arcadewill be re-organised and upgraded with new shop frontages and a new central public square. There will also be new leisure space introduced at street level.
Firmstone plans to invest £5m in refurbishing the shopping centre, which currently has several vacant units – including injecting £1.5m into the new cinema – as part of its proposed £50m redevelopment of the site.
Simon Dicken, chairman of the Bedminster Business Improvement District, said:”This redevelopment will mark the start of an exciting evolution for Bedminster and the surrounding area. St Catherine’s Place Shopping Centre has been an unloved space in Bedminster with unrealised potential for many years. Firmstone’s £5M plans promise a new lease of life to both businesses and the community along with vital new homes which the council would freely acknowledge are needed in a central location in Bristol to ensure sustainability now and into the future.
“The exciting development will also support the growth of the creative and technology sectors using this vibrant and unique centre as a preferred location as opposed to distant office parks.
Francis Firmstone, director of local developers Firmstone said: “The level of interest from Bristol-based food and drink retailers and operators – particularly at this early stage ahead of planning approval – shows just how much potential and excitement there is about a newly refurbished shopping centre and the regeneration of Bedminster as a whole.
“St Catherine’s Place has struggled to thrive for many years. Our proposals will protect this vital community asset and boost the whole of Bedminster – helping to keep local spend in the area, as well as providing a really attractive place for people to meet and socialise.”
The revised application for the redevelopment of St Catherine’s Place is expected to be decided on by Bristol City Council in November.