Bristol harbourside
Bristol harbourside

Hotwells & Harbourside ward has an estimated population of 7,000, making it one of the smallest wards in Bristol in terms of voter numbers. It covers some parts of central Bristol, including the area between Hotwells Road in the west, the Watershed media centre/cinema in the east, the major shopping area of Park Street leading up to the university, and Jacobs Wells Road to the north and Cumberland Road to the south.  These latter districts are known as Canon’s Marsh, Spike Island and Cumberland Basin, and have become increasingly gentrified over the last two decades. The ward also includes some of Bristol’s most iconic spaces: College Green, Bristol Cathedral, the Floating Harbour, St George’s, and the green space of Brandon Hill.

Because of its central location and large number of apartments, it houses many young professionals, mostly living in private rented accommodation: 30% of the population are aged between 16 and 24, while only 6 % are children aged between 0 and 15.  However, it should be noted that 27% of the population live in social rented accommodation, and good quality housing continues to be a significant issue across both the private and public sectors.

Key challenges facing the local community in Hotwells & Harbourside are:

  • Cladding/Fire Safety – this major national scandal has affected many leaseholders in the ward who are now faced with high bills to address fire safety and cladding issues caused by negligent building practices
  • Air Pollution – much of the ward will be included in Bristol’s Clean Air Zone, due to start in summer 2022, with the objective of improving air quality by reducing harmful levels of air pollution caused by traffic
  • Green Spaces – housing developments, such as the Baltic Wharf Development, will see a major loss of trees on Bristol Harbourside, sparking controversy about whether such developments should take priority over green spaces
  • Western Harbour Regeneration Project – Western Harbour is a key area in the continuing regeneration of Bristol’s city centre and the floating harbour. The need to replace parts of the highway infrastructure at Cumberland Basin provides an opportunity for change in the area, but there has been strong local opposition to the proposals to date.
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