Vibrant new city centre district in former Gardiner Haskins building

First Base, who have recently joined the Business West Chamber of Commerce, are a privately-owned mixed-use developer specialising in placemaking and urban regeneration. Collaborating with leading architects, First Base creates a mix of workspace, modern retail, hotels, homes and cultural uses to revitalise high streets and town centres across the UK.

Partnerships are their strength, First Base works with local residents, businesses and stakeholders to create places that are future-enabled. 


Working closely with Bristol City Council First Base plan to deliver a vibrant new district, on the site of the former Gardiner Haskins warehouse. Known as Soapworks, the £175million proposals will deliver an exciting and inclusive mix of spaces for people to work, live and play 

Looking to the FutureThe former Gardiner Haskins warehouse, was originally built to be a factory during the nineteenth century, then became home to offices and retail throughout the twentieth century. First Base plan to sensitively refurbish this Bristol landmark to provide the offices and commercial opportunities of the future, with flexible workspace, maker space for creative industries, and a vibrant independent food, drinks, leisure and retail offer, including an artisan food market, craft cocktail bars and organic cafes. Plans also include an apart-hotel and new homes.

Responding to emerging High Street trends and shopping habits, the new development will promote experiential retail and dining and provide a boost to Bristol’s early evening economy. 

The development will act a key stepping-stone between Temple Meads Station and Old Market, making the most of its key public transport connections to improve pedestrian links. 

Next steps

The proposals are in the pre-planning stage with an application due in before the end of this year. Soapworks will be ready two years after the start of construction, so could be ready as early as  2022. It sounds like an exciting and inspiring initiative for Bristol that will hopefully respond to the needs of our future city.

Ben Allen, Managing Director at Gardiner Haskins, commented:

“It is great to see First Base’s latest vision for the future of the Soapworks building. We have always been unwavering in our desire to see the historic Soapworks building brought back into positive use, serving the next generation of Bristolians. We look forward to continuing to work positively with First Base as their proposals for the site progress.”

Lucinda Mitchell, Project Director at First Base, said:

”From the outset we have sought to deliver a hugely exciting and inclusive mix of spaces for people to work, live and play. We want to create new experiences for the wider public to come together, by providing new opportunities for a food hall, creative spaces for new crafts, artisans and independent traders, in addition to cocktail bars and organic cafes. We expect the revitalised Soapworks building to become the beating social heart of this new district, providing an inclusive amenity to local people, as well as attracting visitors from across Bristol.”

Why they joined the Chamber of Commerce:

“We have met with members of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative to discuss our plans for Soapworks.  We are a new business and investor in Bristol and we would always recommend business to join their local Chambers of Commerce.” 

Liam Ronan-Chlond, Stakeholder & External Relations, First Base.


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