Plans have been submitted to expand a shipping container retail park in Bristol’s harbourside, adding four new restaurants or retail units and a gym.

Insider Media reports that Umberslade, the developer behind the mixed-use Wapping Wharf neighbourhood in Bristol’s city centre, has submitted an application to Bristol City Council for the expansion of Cargo, a development of converted shipping containers that have become home to independent shops, bars, and eateries.

If approved, the proposal would see the creation of four new units, named ‘Cargo 3’, between the office of estate agency NEXA and Jubilee House along Museum Street.

Cargo’s shipping container retail hub is part of Wapping Wharf and is a community that comprises over 450 homes, and a major regeneration project that has transformed the previously derelict land in the city centre.

Over 40 businesses call Wapping Wharf home, and Cargo supports between 250 to 300 full and part-time jobs within the city’s retail and hospitality sectors.

The retail hub has also seen an influx of companies setting up shop over the past few weeks, with South West patisserie business The Choux Box and Bristol bar The Cider Box, the latest to occupy container units.

Former professional rugby player Olly Kohn and his brothers have also recently relocated to Wapping Wharf, setting up the headquarters of their meat business, The Jolly Hog, and a new restaurant called Pigsty.

Umberslade is also seeking approval from Bristol City Council to extend the temporary planning permission currently in place for Cargo 1 and 2 for a further five years, saying it wanted to provide certainty for businesses and ensure they can ‘comfortably invest’ in their future.

Stuart Hatton, managing director at Umberslade, said about the plans: “We have seen huge demand from other independent businesses keen to join the development despite the challenges faced by the hospitality and retail sectors during the pandemic, which is testament to the success of CARGO and its community.”

He added that the plans will also help pave the way for the next phase of development at Wapping Wharf, which, subject to planning permission, will see new and much-needed homes, offices, and an ‘exciting’ new home for Cargo, so it can begin the next chapter in its story.

There is also work underway to convert a nearby derelict warehouse, which was once the home of chocolate manufacturer J and S Fry, into 20,000 sq ft of new, flexible working space for up to 230 people.

As well as an expanding business community, Wapping Wharf also comprises 450 homes, with that number set to rise to 600 when the neighbourhood’s current phase of development is completed.

The private sale homes within phase 2 of Wapping Wharf are now all sold or reserved (some subject to contract), with many residents having moved in, while works will begin early next year on 83 affordable homes next to the phase 2 building known as Abel Yard.


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