A short history of the Arnside and Glencoyne Square Regeneration Project

By Deana Perry & Mike Murch

We are old friends and play the characters of Edgar and Rose Meadows in the Southmead Resident, Community led, soap opera Meadows to Meaders.  We are all now writing the scripts and shaping the stories for the third instalment in March 2020 (watch this space!).

Having both been born and raised in Southmead we have seen it grow from small beginnings through ever changing times. We’ve been through the difficult periods and seen the community come together to support each other.  Through the years Southmead has grown bigger and more diverse in one way, but has become a stronger community because of it.

Arnside is regarded by most people as the ‘centre’ of Southmead and where most people tend to meet each other.  A few years ago, residents and various organisations decided to launch a community plan to give people a voice in any future development of Southmead.

As a result of door knocking all the houses in Southmead it became obvious that all the comments written about Arnside on the surveys were negative.

When the community plan was launched we were very fortunate to be one of only fourteen areas across the United Kingdom to be awarded legacy funding from the 2012 Olympics. One of the actions in our community plan was to begin a housing needs study which subsequently identified the need for smaller homes.

A group of residents, Councillors and stakeholders was formed to explore how to address these issues. This then became the beginning of the Arnside and Glencoyne Square Regeneration Project.

Over the years the group has met on a regular basis with funding being a priority. Council officers have now joined the group and a successful bid was made to the Government for Housing Infrastructure Funding.  The group has been involved with the selection process of the Architects, Housing Association and Project Manager for the scheme.

As a resident led housing project there have been many consultations and pop-up events culminating in a Virtual-Reality display at the Southmead Festival this year. The positive feedback from these events have formed a big part of the final planning application which was submitted to the Bristol City Council Planning Department on the 20th September 2019.

We’d love to tell you more about our involvement in the Regeneration Group or the Meadows to Meaders production – you’ll find us at the next Team Southmead meeting.