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Big News: Bricks have secured the next five years at St Anne’s House

Via a lease extension from Bristol City Council and a collaborative partnership with them to work out the future use.

We are pleased to announce a five year lease extension from Bristol City Council to Bricks to continue running St Anne’s House as a creative and community hub and a collaborative partnership between Bricks and BCC to agree the long term future for the site.

Since moving into SAH in June 2021 and demonstrating its value as a community asset, Bricks have been working with the council to think long term about the site, how to maximise its potential and how it can be resilient in a changing and pressured environment.

The lease is a great step forward, and gives us a bit of extra time to come to agreement on a longer Community Asset Transfer, as we need a 35 year + lease to be able to do the sustainability improvements (new windows, new heating) which will really allow St Anne’s House to be energy and financially resilient and here for the long term.

What’s Next?

Bricks and BCC are now moving forward into the next phase of the partnership.

This will involve pulling together the learning from all our previous scoping and visioning work, and using that to agree what we want from the future of the site and shape a brief to achieve that.

Bricks view is that the existing building should be maintained for the current use as a creative and community hub, and a small number of homes targeted for young people be created on site in a joined up way that builds on the ethos of the main building and makes the most of what is happening there. This could follow a format like Launch Pad – which brings together young people at risk of homelessness, with young people in university, and young people that are key workers into a mixed community offering for young people in a transitional time.

Realistically to make the building work in the long term, we need to bring in investment to make improvements to the energy system and reduce heat loss, and to do that we need a 35 year plus lease (funder requirement). This five year lease is a great stop gap as it gives us breathing space to work on that 35 year plus plan with BCC, and also means that we are eligible for some grants that we would not have otherwise been able to access  – including the Community Resilience Fund grant we were recently awarded via community decision making, and it allows us to think medium term with our communities and start longer form projects.

More to come in the new year when we will be able to launch the next stage of this work.

Some Thanks:

Project Team & Councillors

  • Kate Bedney, Tim Midwood, Louise Davidson, Bristol City Council Housing Delivery
  • Cllr Tom Renhard Cabinet Member for Housing
  • Cllr Tim Rippington and Cllr Katja Hornchen councillors for Brislington East
  • Sarah Daily, Bristol City Council Community Development
  • Chris, Kevin, Peter and Peter from BCC legal and properties teams.
  • Our fantastic trustee Ele George who has been invaluable support to this process. 

Organisations and individuals that have lend support on the way here:

  • Lindy Morgan who via funding from Community Led Homes West gave a lot of really valuable advice and support  to this process
  • East Street Arts’ Guild Programme – who seed funded really important development time for us to be able to have these long form conversations with council. 
  • Hydrock who have given pro bono support on structural surveys and energy surveys
  • Matt Landick at WECA who have done a really useful carbon audit of the building
  • Kinny, Alison and the WAIT team at WECIL who have done a really useful accessibility audit of the building
  • Iris and the team at C.H.E.E.S.E  who have provided a really useful thermostatic camera heat loss survey of the building. 
  • Lara and Caroline from law firm Simmons & Simmons who have been a huge support to Bricks, having given many hours of free support negotiating on Bricks side of the lease negotiations. 
  • John Stienlet – from Quartet’s ProHelp service who set up the support partnership via their pro bono programme. 
  • Jonathan Platt, Owen Faunt & Esther Brown from GCP Architects who worked with us back in March 2022 to look at some massing and blocking plans for the site. 
  • Craig White and Pat Steward at Agile Architects – who did some drawings and thinking with us about rooftop homes and modular building. 
  • Josh Wyles and team at 21AM Architects – who have done a great scoping exercise of possible roof futures for the site. 
  • All other community members, team and trustees that have contributed to the project