First Base Gets To First Base With Bristol City's Soapworks

Bristol City soapworks

Developer First Base has the go-ahead for the new £175 million Soapworks district in Bristol. The City Council has resolved to grant planning permission and listed building consent to the mixed-used developer.

The regeneration of the Soapworks site has been pushed through as a driver for Bristol’s economic recovery from Covid-19 by delivering a mix of modern workspace, new homes and a new retail and food offer close to the city centre.

The new district will comprise two new buildings alongside the sensitive restoration of the Grade II listed Soapworks building, originally a soap factory dating back to the 1860s, set within an enhanced public realm.

The scheme will deliver 140,000.sq.ft of flexible workspace to meet demand where availability has been squeezed over the past twelve months, as corporates shift to a hub and spoke office model and increase their footprint in key regional cities.

Soapworks will also deliver up to 243 new Build-to-Rent homes and create space for independent retail.


Woods Bagot

The development, which has been masterplanned by Woods Bagot, will be set around a new public square including biodiverse green spaces and will create new pedestrian and cycle routes to the city’s commercial centre at Temple Quay and the cultural quarter at Old Market.



The project will deliver over £200 million of social value including employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities for local people. First Base has also committed to the Bristol Property Inclusion Charter, which pledges to support women, LGBT+, BAME and other groups under-represented in the construction sector.



Soapworks will support Bristol’s One City Plan and Climate Strategy by re-vitalising an underused brownfield site, supporting active travel and utilising 100% renewable energy.



 “The Soapworks site will restore one of Bristol’s landmark buildings and create a new green mixed-use district in the heart of the city.”

– Lucinda Mitchell 

Project Director, First Base


Picture: First Base has planning permission from Bristol City Council for the new £175 million Soapworks project.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
30th April 2021


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