‘We have the chance to make the area a vital centre’ - South Bristol high street gets £15million levelling up boost

Plans to redevelop Filwood Broadway have stagnated for more than a decade

A south Bristol high street starved of redevelopment is set to receive more than £14.5million of funding through the Government’s Levelling Up scheme.

Filwood Broadway will be granted the funds following a successful bid made by Bristol City Council. The decision comes as the authority finalises plans to demolish an abandoned cinema in the area and build 30 homes on the site.

In a tweet, Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees confirmed ambitions to use the funding to “deliver more new homes and community and business space in the heart of Knowle West”. Plans to revamp the high street were approved in 2012 but have been shelved for a decade since.

The scheme describes the funding to be used ‘for a project to provide new, high-quality housing, community and business space at Filwood Broadway and investment in the community centre and outdoor recreational areas’ - the latter pledge would include rejuvenating areas such as the MUGA Sports Surfaces in BS4.

Ward councillor, Zoe Goodman praised the breakthrough, which she hopes will provide the neighbourhood with a retail store and, perhaps, a dentist.

Cllr Goodman said: “There has already been an expression for retail space by residents so I think a smaller scale supermarket can be considered. We want people to come to Filwood Broadway for it to become a more valuable community centre but it must also be more accessible for people walking or cycling. There wouldn’t be a car park included in any plans for a store.

“A dentist would be great and is something we can look at - it would depend on finding a dentist that wanted to come into the area. There has also been discussion about potentially moving the library to that area and redeveloping its current site - I would be very keen to make sure it became a mixed-use development to allow for retail or office space with housing above but all these plans would be made alongside residents and businesses to match their needs.

“It is time we thought about what is best for Filwood Broadway as a whole. Recent developments have been rather piecemeal or delayed. Now we have a chance to redevelop the whole area together in a holistic way which meets peoples’ needs. We can make Filwood Broadway a vital centre once again.”