Visualisation of new building at Bower Ashton

City Campus development

The City Campus is the new home to UWE Bristol’s creative and cultural subjects.

Made up of our Bower Ashton Studios, Spike Island, the Arnolfini and Watershed, the new multi-site campus gives our students the chance to work alongside creative professionals – and to get more closely involved in the work of the city’s most prominent creative spaces.

The new campus has been developed as a result of our close partnerships with Bristol’s principal creative organisations. Working with Spike Island since 2005, and with the Watershed since 2011, we run courses through both of their sites, and collaborate on research and other creative projects too.

Adding to these links, in 2015 we embarked on a significant new partnership with Arnolfini, which will see our Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education collaborating with the centre on programming, education workshops, seminars, events and academic research.

The City Campus brings all of these links together into a new multi-site campus, where our students, industry professionals and colleagues can share ideas and develop their talents in the city’s most inspiring creative locations.

“City Campus makes learning modern, radical and inventive… It takes the campus into our city; it makes the city our campus.”

Professor Alex Gilkison, Pro Vice-Chancellor, UWE Bristol

City Campus development work

As part of the City Campus project, we have made significant investment in developing our site at Bower Ashton to refresh our facilities, grow our services, and ensure our students and staff have access to state-of-the-art learning and teaching environments.

In particular, we have added new spaces for traditional making, alongside the most modern and high-tech facilities used in the creative industries today. The project includes both the refurbishment of existing facilities and new buildings being built for our Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education. You can see how the new spaces look in our Bower Ashton redevelopment gallery.

View the Bower Ashton redevelopment gallery

Progress so far

The City Campus project has involved four phases of development work :

Phase one – completed 2012

We kicked off the project by adding industry-standard newsroom facilities at Bower Ashton to support our Journalism programmes.

Phase two – completed 2014

In phase two, we created new specialist drama facilities, following the relocation of our drama courses from St Matthias. We transformed the courtyard area into a vibrant, open plan student learning zone, and expanded and refurbished our catering, library and Students’ Union facilities.

Phase three – completed 2015

In 2015, we refurbished floors 3, 4 and 5 of the Arnolfini building, relocating our BA Graphic Design, MA Graphic Arts and BA Drawing and Print programmes there from Bower Ashton.

Phase four – in progress

The fourth and final phase of the project involves modernising our existing art and design studio spaces for our programmes in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion, Interior Design and Drawing and Print. We’re also opening a new moving image and lens media studio suite at Bower Ashton, to provide industry-standard facilities for our programmes in Animation, Photography and Filmmaking. Once complete, our facilities at Bower Ashton will match those of our competitors in an increasingly market-driven sector.

Following the approval of our development plans for Bower Ashton, our submitted proposals for the first new building (12MB) in phase three have been consented by Bristol City Council.    Works commenced on site during early May 2016, so that we can open the new building in time for the 2017/18 academic year.


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