04 Oct 2016

Economy, Enterprise, Business and Jobs

National award for Filwood Green Business Park

Filwood Green Business Park scooped the Green Business of the Year award at the Business Leader Awards.

The annual awards are the most prestigious business awards in the South West and celebrate enterprise across small, medium and large companies.

In front of a packed crowd at the Bristol Hotel, Barra Mac Ruairi, Bristol City Council’s Strategic Director for Place, received the award, recognising the outstanding contribution of the business park to boosting employment in South Bristol. 

Filwood Green Business Park is a highly energy efficient building with a comprehensive plan set around the obstacles developments of this kind face when trying to tackle their environmental performance.

These include:

• Guides for tenants on efficient operation of services;
• Extensive photovoltaic (solar) panels;
• The use of high performance building materials to reduce energy demand;
• Low water use appliances;
• Two green roofs, one  of sedum and the other grass and wild flowers providing important microclimates for the area’s insect and bird life;
• Four dedicated ‘Fast’ electric vehicle charging points;
• Sustainable travel plan, including cycle storage and shower and drying facilities;
• Native tree planting, bird boxes and wildlife ecology zone.

Critical to the park’s success has been its commitment to a target of a 40% reduction in CO2, saving the equivalent of emissions from 276 double decker buses annually.

The design of the business park achieved BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ status earlier this year and was awarded with a “Highly Commended” judgement at the 2014 BREEAM awards. The building is designed to particularly support business productivity.

The concept of building a green business park came from the community during consultation on local regeneration as a part of the Knowle West Regeneration Framework, a plan that has been devised to bring jobs and investment to one of the most deprived areas of the city.

The business park is contributing to this plan by providing affordable, environmentally friendly office and workshop space for small businesses to base themselves from.

The park is currently home to 31 businesses, ranging from security firms to design companies, which are making use of 49 units.

Local involvement in the project continued beyond its original conception to be included in the design phase. 

An initial design process involving members of the local community was followed by an intensive planning phase with local stakeholders’ contributions eventually leading to the final layout being agreed.

Many of the community’s ideas are now seen across the park, most spectacularly in the green roofs adorning the site.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Business is booming in Bristol, but our challenge is that while we have a great story to tell, the city’s success is shared by too few people.

“Improving access to work and training for all, especially young people, is one way of tackling this.  Projects such as Filwood Green Business Park are important not only because of what it delivers in sustainable terms, but also because it ensures Bristol’s success is felt beyond the city centre, in all parts of the city, including the most deprived areas.   

“I want Bristol to flourish as a city in which everyone can participate in success and nobody is left behind.”

Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Place with responsibility for the economy, said: “Many congratulations and warm appreciation to the team at Filwood Green Business Park, who fully deserve this recognition of their achievements.  

“The Business Park is an important project in the regeneration of South Bristol, bringing investment and opportunity to this part of our city. As well as providing a benchmark in sustainable design, it is a real example of what can be achieved through collaborative working.”

The £11.671 million funding for the project is in part met by Bristol City Council with £5.495 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and support from West of England Local Enterprise Partnership Revolving Infrastructure Fund, which is in turn supported by the Government's Regional Growth Fund.

This development forms part of wider plans to regenerate Filwood Park, which is being led by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), and also includes provision for a new park and up to 150 new and affordable homes.


Notes to editor:

About Filwood Green Business Park
The Filwood Green Business Park is a pioneering development for Bristol City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, providing a BREEAM Outstanding office and workshop space in Knowle West, Bristol, aimed towards B1/B2 small and medium sized businesses with an environmental ethos.

The building provides workshop, studio and office space available to let in a variety of sizes, and a large open plan WorkHub which facilitates interaction. The Business Park offers a professional co-working environment for both tenants and homeworkers. With a range of desk spaces and facilities, Filwood Green Business Park is designed to deliver all the key ingredients for small businesses to flourish.

The opening of Filwood Green Business Park coincided with Bristol becoming the UK’s first ever European Green Capital. The building is highly efficient both in construction and day to day operation, specifically designed to achieve a 40% CO2 reduction, saving an estimated 46 tonnes of CO2 annually (equivalent to 276 double decker buses). Its environmental ethos is incorporated throughout the building with electric vehicle charging points, a sedum green roof, and extensive photovoltaic panels. This is a building that invests in Bristol’s future and forms a key part of the regeneration and sustainable development of South Bristol.

Other features include:

• High performance building materials to reduce energy demand by 30%;
• Energy efficient services;
• Low water use appliances and waterless urinals;
• Secure cycle storage, showers and drying room plus bicycle spares kit on site;
• Attractive landscaping.

BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 425,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and two million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.

BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance. It encourages designers, clients and others to think about low carbon and low impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.