‘I’d be up for it, there’s nothing here’ - Bristol shoppers react to plans to demolish and redevelop the Galleries
Some shoppers like it the way it is - others think Broadmead needs a boost
Bristol shoppers have produced mixed reactions to redevelopment plans for The Galleries with verdicts on the proposals ranging from ‘brilliant’ to ‘a bit of a shame’.
While most agreed the aging Broadmead shopping centre looks ‘tired’, there were concerns about the proliferation of housing and a decrease in affordable shopping options in the city.
Last week BristolWorld revealed plans to transform the Galleries into a ‘diverse hub’ containing restaurants, shops, office space, leisure facilities and a hotel.
The centre, which first opened in 1991, has been struggling in recent times, with footfall down 35% since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Developers Deeley Freed moved to assure Bristolians that the Galleries will ‘remain open as usual for at least the next two years’ and the new development would continue ‘to provide something for everyone.’
Most shoppers agreed that change was a good thing, but opinions differed on the extent and direction any regeneration should take.
Speaking to BristolWorld outside the Galleries, Yasmin Lindsay said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant, obviously it’s really fitting the times as Bristol is continuously evolving and developing.
“The Galleries currently, it’s just very old, a bit tired, a bit worn out, it’s needing a boost.”
Bob Bowden, 74, from Redland said: “It’s lost it. It could be better used than it is now, it’s just hanging on really.”
Isaac, returning to his car, currently only uses the centre for parking, he said: “I’d be for it, there’s nothing in here.”
Paul disagreed, saying: “If they could occupy the building as it is, I don’t see anything wrong with it. There’s enough other developments, there’s too many houses really.”
Yasmin Berndt was also wary of housing, she said: I guess housing, that has kind of taken over everywhere, which is good but also bad. But there’s a lot of empty shops in there, so it’d be nice to see more being done with it.
Zoë said: “I do agree that it does look a bit tired, but it’s a bit of a shame, as there’s a lot of affordable stuff in there if I’m honest. we’ve got the fancy bit in Cabot’s Circus anyway.”
Aras agreed: “They need competition for everything. It sounds good for people when they need a house or offices. For us as shoppers, we need more shops, for competition, especially here in the city centre.”
A series of three public consultation events will take place next week.