Southmead Regeneration – Changes to the Open Space

Phase One of Southmead Regeneration – the regeneration of Glencoyne Square – is evolving every day as the team at Southmead Development Trust meet with partners to push this project forward to achieve the community’s ambitions.

Over the past months we have been working through the final designs for the buildings, with the detailed design phase to follow. We are also working closely with Bristol City Council and our health partners exploring what the new open space and health centre will deliver.

Recent changes involve the use and design of the open space on the Northern edge of Glencoyne Square.

Over the last year, much consultation has gone in to the design of Glencoyne Square, gathering feedback and opinions over what you feel the scheme should deliver. Many of the responses we have received have been key in shaping the design, for example: the desire for the design to be long lasting,using materials which will age well and be practical to maintain, having spaces for people of all ages, and lots of space to sit and for community events.


We’ve been working closely with Bristol City Council’s Parks Department to create an open space that is interesting and welcoming for people of all ages, but most of all something that is sustainable for the council to maintain to a high standard over time.

Initial plans for Glencoyne Square included relocating the designated play space from Embleton Road onto the Square. However, conversations with Bristol City Council around their preferences for the new space have led to some changes. Bristol City Council will be adopting this open space and so it is of critical importance that they are able to maintain the space to a high level. As a result of severe budget cuts and limited resources, having a simpler and more flexible open space was viewed as more sustainable for the council Parks Department. Bristol City Council also expressed a preference for spreading the open spaces uses (e.g. play equipment) across a wider area rather than locating it all on the Square.

For these reasons, moving the Embleton Road play park was not seen as a sustainable option to deliver. Together we are now taking a more holistic approach and exploring ways in which the existing open/play spaces in the area can work together to create a vibrant and exciting Southmead, beyond just what we build on Glencoyne Square. Through this approach, the council have recognised a need for investment in those existing spaces to bring them up to standard and this is a conversation that will be ongoing, involving the community.


So what is Southmead Regeneration committed to delivering on Glencoyne Square? We’ve been exploring options on creating a vibrant space for everyone to enjoy, that could be created and maintained by the community without being dependent on the Council. Did you know that most planting in public gardens around Bristol is maintained by local community volunteer groups? More often than not, community groups have the vision and motivation to create and maintain more exciting spaces than local authorities – and care about it on a much more personal level as local people use these spaces in every day life.

Our new approach is to create a simpler open space that allows for growth over time, with the support and vision of the community. We will still be planting many new trees as planned, with interesting and accessible walkways through the area, but also providing enough room (and practical support) for our community to create something of our own.

On top of this, in the coming months community consultation for the open space will begin and members of the community can again feedback and have their say on the proposed plans for the green space. Keep an eye on the website and our social media to for dates on consultation and project updates.