News & Events


Latest news

  • Umberslade is a small, family-run company
  • The Wapping Wharf site was bought in 2003 from British Rail Residuary Board with outline planning permission in 2007 for 625 dwellings and 200,000 square feet of commercial/retail space
  • Vision of more suitable/attractive pedestrian route to the centre, with independent shops and cafes spilling out onto the sides
  • The economic downturn in 2008 put things on hold, so Umberslade ran the space as a carpark
  • A conversation with the local MP led to grants from the Government’s New Homes Bonus allowed the project to take off
  • Sovereign Housing run the housing; a mixture of tenures – including affordable and social
  • Water for all 450 apartments heated by three boilers below ground. Plans for a sustainable heating system for subsequent phases of the scheme
  • 2019 Phase 1 finished with construction of Museum Street, allowing Museum Square to be free of traffic
  • Retail vision with the focus on independent businesses which show passion and drive (one tenant remortgaged his home to get started). Reasonable leases and fair rents – ‘it is the people who make the place’ - have encouraged a range of businesses: a pub - Wild Beer now a considerable community hub - a yoga studio, flowershop, book shop in July, fine dining + take-away (17 eateries in all) and others
  • Restoration of the former Bristol Gaol as new entrance to Phase 2; outline of the gaol walls and buildings marked in resinated gravel
  • Phase 3: Office space in former Fry’s warehouse and a further block of 83 apartments with 20% affordable homes; one entrance through refurbished gaol wall.

  • Concerns about deliveries to the retailers; and rubbish: plans for on-site recycling
  • Heavy footfall on Gaol Ferry Bridge. Steve Fay and Tim Wickstead raised the issue of the future viability of the existing structure
  • How far will this go?  When is saturation for the area reached? (Chris Hanmer’s question)

Umberslade keen to stay in Bristol: already supporters of M Shed (as part of planning agreement), SS Great Britain, Gig Club, Bristol 24/7, Bedminster Lantern Parade, Secret Garden Project, 1625...use the charity tap point at Better Food.

17 FrANC members joined this very interesting event and several made positive comments about the overall impact of the Wapping Wharf scheme.
An evening with Stuart Hatton - the person behind the Wapping Wharf scheme

Stuart Hatton Managing Director of Umberslade Corporate Development spoke to FrANC members on Wednesday 23rd June via Zoom about the Wapping Wharf development:
new gaol gate.jpg
Reed beds in Bathurst Basin

A neighbouring community organisation "Friends of Bathurst Basin (FOBB)" has successfully secured funding and negotiated for reed beds to be installed in the basin.
The beds have been planted with a mix of hardy native species, some of which are shade tolerant as the installation will not have direct sun for more than a few hours in the mornings. The beds will provide habitat for birds, fish and insects.
See the FOBB news item for more information. 
reed beds.jpg
Rubbish clear-up along the New Cut as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme
As an important element of his DofE Award, a local teenager, Christopher Parker, undertook a 13 week programme of extensive litter clearance in our part of Bristol, including regular trawls of Greville Smyth Park as well as along the New Cut towards Riverside Garden Centre. After each session, Christopher took all the rubbish home and sorted it so that it could then be recycled.

Christopher was originally one of a group of six, all working for their DofE Awards: however, Covid restrictions meant that they had to work as pairs. Passers-by commented on the good job they were doing and a message on Facebook read: Thank you, whoever you are, you are amazing! Radio Bristol gave them a mention as part of an item on the value of parks and green spaces, particularly during lockdown, and the interest shown by younger people in looking after their environment.

We are very grateful to Christopher for clearing rubbish from along the New Cut. FrANC chair, Tim Wickstead, has submitted an assessment report and we all hope that Christopher gets his DofE Award in due course.
Listen to the Radio Bristol recording:
Radio Bristol -
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