At the Business Leader Awards, the Green Business of the Year award was given to Filwood Green Business Park in Bristol.
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.
• 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.
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.