Shipping container retail hub planned for Wapping Wharf

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Cargo visual - Wapping Wharf


Bristol looks set to get its first ever retail hub made of shipping containers at the new Wapping Wharf development – a concept that has proved popular in places like Shoreditch’s ‘Boxpark’. If the plans are approved, it will be the first use of shipping containers as retail space in Bristol.

This ‘foodie’-focused retail hub, named Cargo, would consist of 10 recycled shipping container units and would be located in front of Bristol’s new Wapping Wharf development, between the Gaol Ferry Steps and Museum Square. It would join a range of cafés, restaurants and other retail units, with Small St Espresso being the first to be confirmed for the development.

Their aim? To be fully occupied by indie food and drink retailers, in line with the plans of Wapping Wharf’s developers to create a new “foodie” quarter for Bristol. The units each measure 8ft by 20ft, and (if approved) would have glass frontages with views over the waterfront, and terraces for the ground level units. The plans that have been submitted feature five single and three double units on the ground level, with a double unit and a larger unit – the size of five individual containers – on the upper level. Outside decking on the top of Cargo would also offer sweeping views of Bristol’s beautiful harbourside – a perfect sun trap during the summer.

Stuart Hatton, director at Umberslade (Wapping Wharf’s developer), says, “Cargo would see the creation of an additional cluster of retailers at Wapping Wharf, fitting in nicely with the independent, ‘foodie’ feel we are envisaging for this new Bristol quarter. The type of retailer we expect to see taking space at Cargo might be anything from a pop-up smoothie seller to a street food retailer – and everything in between – and we think this will be an excellent addition to the city’s vibrant food and drink scene.”

Hatton added: “The concept of transforming shipping containers into retail hubs is becoming increasingly popular. Boxpark in London is a well-known example, and a recent visit to New York – where indoor markets in temporary containers are popping up all over the place – also served as inspiration for Cargo. This style of space lends itself to the creation of a sense of community among the retailers and a real buzz about the place – and we hope we’ll create something similar here at Cargo in Bristol.”

Umberslade has submitted a planning application to Bristol City Council to install Cargo, with a decision expected over in a couple of months. We’ll keep you posted…


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