Lovely lakeside homes in Bristol

February 27th, 2017 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Guy Ackernley

As we spring into um, Spring, we’ve launched some brand new homes at Lakeshore in Bristol - all of which are located on the edge of our lake and surrounded by some beautiful landscaping.


Five new apartments are now available for sale at our Grade II Listed development; each of the one  bedroom homes are in an awesome lakeside spot,high ceilings and a balcony.


Prices start from £165,000, find out more here.


Filed under: Bristol, Lakeshore, Urban Splash No comments

‘’Beside the lake, beneath the trees…”

November 27th, 2014 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


…Why not move to Lakeshore?

“We want to live close to the water and new developments are enabling us to live out this romantic dream,” says Carol Lewis,
The Times, Bricks & Mortar

Lakeshore featured in a showcase of the best lakeside developments in the South West recently.

‘There can be few things more calming than sitting on the shore of a tranquil lake. We seem to know innately that still waters have a deeply soothing effect, with people drawn by water to live, work & play. While our attraction to fresh water was once practical, today it is also aesthetic - with developments of new homes built around lakes able to command a premium.’

We still have homes available for sale & rent in our transformed Grade II Listed former Imperial Tobacco Factory to suit any budget

Check out November’s home of the month 140 Lakeshore available from just £97,500 through Shared Ownership


Filed under: Affordable homes, Bristol, Lakeshore, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash No comments

Live from Lakeshore with Mr Finn

March 25th, 2013 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Ella Wredenfors

One of the newest, and youngest, residents of our Bristol scheme takes us on a tour, showing us a side of Lakeshore you may not have seen before!

Thanks Mr Finn, I’m looking forward to future installments of Live from Lakeshore!

Filed under: Bristol, Lakeshore No comments

2012: A round up of the year

December 19th, 2012 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

Another year of hard work has come to an end… Here’s a run through of some of the things we’ve been upto this year!


Lakeshore, our first Bristol scheme, is now home to residents. The Grade II listed Cor-Ten structure has been refurbished into design-led apartment available to buy and rent. With strong sustainable credentials, the scheme recently won a What House? Award for Sustainable Development.


Human, an exciting Sheffield-based creative agency, has become the first commercial tenants to sign up for space at Park Hill. They’ll open their new office there in the new year.


This year Royal William Yard came into its own; River Cottage, the Royal William Bakery, Seco Lounge and Le Vignoble are already open, with Las Iguanas, Wagamama, Bistrot Pierre and more signed up ready to open next year. With the monthly Good Food Market - another new addition for 2012 - the Yard has become Plymouth’s newest gourmet hotspot.


Winner of this year’s best conversion Northern Design Award, Saxton is a real success story and now home to hundreds of people who benefit from the location near Leeds city centre life, as well as the onsite allotment and gym!


We’re pretty proud of our trophy cabinet which was bolstered this year with 16 more awards!


It’s been a great year for new joint venture schemes including; Springfield Lane in Salford, Bewsey Old Hall in Warrington and Anston House in Brighton, watch this space for more details!


With the first tenants moving into Pattern House, we have now completed our Stalybridge scheme. With 100 apartments, Longlands also offers exciting commercial space right in the heart of Stalybridge, just a few minutes on the train from central Manchester.


The British Council of Offices Award judges decided that no one could ‘tame the Birmingham Beast‘, praising our transformation of a neglected monolith into a thriving commercial hub. They gave a special mention to our ability to emphasise the building’s industrial past.


Our flexible approach as a landlord, with short form leases, monthly licenses and a great rapport with tenants, has helped us grow the commercial portfolio even more this year; with 90% of our 2 million sq ft of office, retail, leisure and light industrial space now let.


Yep, among our 16 awards in 2012 were FOUR coveted Sunday Times British Homes Awards including a commendation for the Best Developer Award! Three other awards went to Lakeshore, Saxton and Park Hill.


We’ve transferred the success of the commercial portfolio to the residential side of the business too. 95% of homes are let and this year we grew it to more than 700 homes.


One of the most notable successes of the commercial portfolio is Fort Dunlop which is now 96% let and home to a great mix of tenants including Trinity Mirror and Elmfield.

Here’s looking forward to another great year!

Filed under: Affordable homes, Birmingham, Bristol, Chips, Fort Dunlop, Lakeshore, Leeds, Longlands, Manchester, Mills Bakery, New Islington, Park Hill, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Saxton, Sheffield, Stalybridge, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash No comments

Return to Lakeshore

September 4th, 2012 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by James Howard

Welcome back to Lakeshore

With the first residents now comfortably moved into their new Lakeshore apartments and more to follow, we thought it would be a great time to host an exciting and nostalgic event for the ex-employees of the original Wills Tobacco Factory.

The event will be held on the evening of Thursday 13th September and will be a fantastic chance for old employees to re-visit happy memories of their time working for HD and HO Wills, meet old colleagues and see how the building has been redeveloped since the 1970’s. The invitations for the tour, via the Imperial Pensioners Gazette, resulted in an overwhelming response from those eager to get involved, exchange stories and re-live the history of Lakeshore.

We have already received a number of brilliant stories and photographs from previous employees about their time working in the factory. Many actually met their partners there and one ex worker in particular wrote in about meeting Princess Margaret at the site and how an episode of Dr Who was filmed in the factory!

Ex workers have watched the development with interest, especially those that still live in the Hartcliffe area and wish to see the re-vamp of their old work place and meet old friends. Reading their stories in anticipation of the event has built a picture of Lakeshore’s history and we hope the event can recreate the great community spirit of the Wills Imperial Tobacco Factory workers.

Date: Thursday 13th September
Time: 5.30pm for 6pm tour start
Details: If you are a former or current employee of Imperial Tobacco and would like to attend, please email, quoting ‘Imperial Factory’ along with your name and the full names of any guests.

Tours and events for members of the public regularly take place at Lakeshore, and other Urban Splash schemes across the country. To find out what’s coming up, visit our Events & Tours page.

Filed under: Bristol, Lakeshore, Urban Splash No comments

From plot to plate at Saxton, Leeds

August 16th, 2012 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Rachel Maren

Saxton's Allotment Pop Up Restaurant

With all the excitement of the Olympics you might have missed the news that last week was National Allotment Week – running from 6th – 12th August it is a week of celebrations throughout the UK to highlight the allotment movement and raise the awareness of growing your own food.

What you also might not know is that here at Urban Splash we have not one but two sets of allotments – at our development Saxton in Leeds and also at Lakeshore in Bristol, with 193 plots between them we are for the first time offering our residents
a chance to “Grow their Own”.

So to celebrate allotment week and the hard work of our allotment holding residents we turned our allotments at Saxton into
a Zero Food Miles pop up restaurant.

The tables were set, the sun was shining and our friends from Sam’s Chop House came down to use the alfresco kitchen we had provided. Over two sittings Lunch and Dinner (or dinner and tea as we call them here in Yorkshire) 20 of our residents were treated to a plate of finest Yorkshire fayre cooked in front of them using produce picked from within feet of them!

Saxton's Allotment Pop Up Restaurant

If you fancy trying the meal for yourself here’s the recipe:

Sam’s Chop House Roasted Rump of Lamb
Roasted rump of lamb served with crushed new potatoes, orange glazed carrots, mint & redcurrant sauce

Serves 2

2 x 7-8oz lamb rumps, trimmed
20g fresh thyme & rosemary
150g new potatoes
20g chives
150g Chantenay carrots
100g butter
200ml fresh orange juice
200ml gravy
1tbsp red currant jelly
20g fresh mint

Season the lamb rumps with salt & pepper, and seal on all sides in a hot pan. Roughly chop the thyme & rosemary, add to the pan with the lamb rumps & roast in a 200ºC oven for 9-10 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before carving

Boil the new potatoes in salted water until just cooked, then mix with 25g of butter & chopped herbs & crush with a fork. Season well with salt & pepper. Put the carrots in a pan with the remaining butter & orange juice, cover with a piece of greaseproof paper & cook over a high heat until all the liquid has been absorbed & the carrots are soft & glazed.


Mix the redcurrant jelly & chopped mint with the gravy & heat gently.

To serve

Press the crushed potatoes into a ring, carve the lamb rump & serve with the carrots & sauce.

Rob Higgins, head chef at Sam’s Chop House said: ”Having allotments for residents is a great idea and something I’ve not seen before. As a chef and somebody who is passionate about organic produce, this would definitely appeal to me if I was looking to buy a place in the city centre. Cooking with food grown at home gives you a sense of pride and it’s often more flavoursome.”

If you live at Saxton or Lakeshore and are interested in taking an allotment contact Rachel Maren at Still not sure? Check out Facebook for more pictures of the event and pictures of what our residents have been growing.

Filed under: Lakeshore, Leeds, Saxton, Urban Splash No comments

Awards aplenty!

July 5th, 2012 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

Industry awards are always a privilege to receive and I’m particularly happy this month as we have added four more awards to our collection – taking our total to 316!

Last month our scheme in Leeds, Saxton, won a brace of awards in one night. As well as a winner of RIBA Regional Sustainability Award 2012, Saxton also picked up a Housing Design Award for completed scheme.

This video, created to celebrate Saxton’s success by the Housing Design Awards, really highlights what’s really special about the place. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Last week Park Hill, Sheffield, and Lakeshore, Bristol, won gold and bronze awards at the Green Apple Award 2012 for Built Environment and Architectural Heritage.

All these awards are extremely prestigious, and we are as pleased as punch about each and every one. It’s a testament to the dedication of everyone who worked to make these schemes happen, and the enthusiasm of the people of Leeds, Sheffield and Bristol for the projects. Thank you!

Filed under: Bristol, Lakeshore, Leeds, Park Hill, Saxton, Sheffield, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash No comments

Sustainable living at Lakeshore

June 13th, 2012 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

As many of you may know, I’ve tweeted for a few years now and love reading what people think, so it was great to spot this tweet from Guardian Sustainable Business:

It’s fantastic that our work on transforming the former Imperial Tobacco HQ, Bristol, into contemporary eco-homes has been recognised as an example of best practice in sustainable business.

Here’s what Jackie Wills had to say about Lakeshore on the Guardian website:

Bristol’s iconic Wills Imperial Tobacco Factory has been transformed into 286 eco homes set in 10 acres of parkland with a lake.

Two decades after it was abandoned, the grade II listed 1970s building has been re-made and re-modelled by Urban Splash into Lakeshore, one of Bristol’s most sustainable properties.

The redevelopers maintained the original building’s Cor-ten steel frame to keep its history alive, while architects, Ferguson Mann, incorporated contemporary designs.

The homes have been created with green technology including geothermal boreholes, an ETFE roof and recycling systems in each apartment.

Every apartment has under-floor heating and hot water provided by a ground source heat pump and biomass boiler. The ground source heat pump system runs fluid through 100-metre deep boreholes.

The natural geothermal heat in the subsoil is constant at 10-12C all year round. The fluid absorbs this heat, which is increased to 45-50C to heat the apartments and boosted further for hot water by a biomass boiler fuelled bywaste wood. The supply of heating and hot water is virtually 100% renewable.

Every apartment has a bike rack and the homeowner’s manual encourages sustainable living. There are on-site allotments, a barbecue area, gym, fishing clubs and a boules court.

Being environmentally responsible is one of the most important aspects of the Urban Splash philosophy. It means wherever possible reusing and restoring. Keeping what’s good and improving what’s not. Lakeshore is the latest in a series of Urban Splash schemes where we have restored fantastic disused buildings to life, such a Fort Dunlop in Birmingham, Lister Mills in Bradford, Royal William Yard in Plymouth and, of course, Park Hill in Sheffield.

We’re not perfect, and we do make mistakes, but what matters is that we do our best to make a positive impact on the environment wherever we work.

Filed under: Lakeshore, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash No comments

A dyed-in-the-street Londoner who becomes short-of-breath at the merest thought of spending time outside of my beloved Capital, I recently boarded a Bank Holiday train for a Bristol weekend with architect and man about town, George Ferguson. I arrived late afternoon and we spent the evening in lively conversational debate, over delicious dinner at No 1 Harbourside, before making a pit-stop at The Grain Barge and heading back to his place at the Tobacco Factory. There, I somehow absorbed my single malt nightcap whilst gleefully enjoying the even tipsier motion of his Spun Chair, a joyful piece of furniture and a perfect antidote to my own spins. I slept like a baby.

The new morning brought a hangover; a clear, blinding sun shone into this blind-free Loft … and far too early. But after shoehorning me into the day with tea and toast, George took us to see Ferguson Mann’s latest triumph, created for visionary developer Urban Splash.

Lakeshore, April 2012

Lakeshore is an architectural jewel that takes an arresting 1970s commercial structure seamlessly into a 21st Century, affordable, residential, urban dream-come-true. For this glittering building lies gracefully across a substantial lake colonised by fish and ducks, surrounded by woodlands, wild flowers, sloping meadows and even residents’ allotments glimpsed through tendrils of mature willow – all within ten minutes of the City centre.

Lakeshore’s architecture has been sculpted to accommodate over 600 apartments, conjoined by walkways of colour, astonishing perspectives, internal lawns and gorgeous graphics. Nothing has been left to chance.

Internally, the apartments are light, airy and – oh, the views. George has one set aside, so as to test-drive his own creation for at least three months. In which case he can comment also on the highly prized environmental engineering, of which Lakeshore is rightly very proud, for this is award-winning stuff.

In the era of my former PR business Forte Communication, a favourite client was the brilliant Patrick Bellew, founder of Atelier Ten, for over thirty years an environmental engineer - an influence and activist long before such things became either fashionable or deemed essential to a cleaner world.

For Lakeshore, Atelier Ten has created an environmental system that achieves an uncommon “excellent” Ecohomes rating. They have reached this by applying centuries old technology. A ground source heat pump system linked to geothermal boreholes provides heating and hot water to every apartment and the lake serves as a seasonal solar energy store: a system with more implicit common sense than any ill-conceived air conditioning systems could claim.

Lakeshore, Bristol

How do I know this? I confess an interest: I was involved in launching Atelier Ten’s role in Lakeshore when the team was put together some six years ago. Seeing the original concept finished in all its glorious concrete and glass, gives me am odd but so satisfying sense of completion. Urban Splash deserves medals for applying such clever technology way ahead of mainstream acceptance; it takes a rare developer to invest in genuine environmental integrity.

My colourful Bristol day continued apace, with delicious and friendly lunch at Zazu’s Kitchen in Clifton (Celeriac bisque with pesto and sourdough), after which we ventured dockside to tap our toes to crazy music from the Jazz Disaster boys. Then, aboard the Bristol Ferry, I was presented with layer upon layer of waterway-rich architectural narrative, revealing the evolution and history surrounding one of the UK’s most engaging and promising Cities.

Unusually for so many cities around the UK, Bristol has had the chutzpah to encourage the brilliantly articulated conversion of this former Imperial Tobacco HQ, giving those that prefer to live outside the centre somewhere beautiful to be. Well done, Bristol, Atelier Ten - but most of all, well done Urban Splash

[Ed. Thanks Giovanna! Read more from Giovanna Forte on]
Filed under: Lakeshore No comments

What’s Living in Lakeshore?

January 20th, 2012 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by James Howard


As the dredging, clearing and general renovation nears completion, the pontoon settles in place and the ducks have taken to their new home. The exciting final stage of Lakeshore’s lake restoration is about to begin with the introduction of the fish.

Whilst most homes are content with a small garden pond, the residents at Lakeshore can enjoy a 10,500 m2 lake in their garden, with a pontoon for romantic midnight strolls or in the case of the fishing club, a place to sit and whittle away lazy afternoons.

The manmade lake runs underneath the whole property allowing each apartment, with its floor to ceiling windows, a different view of the weeping willow lined lake and the huge variety of wildlife living off it. The Pigeonhouse stream runs through the site, which is actually part of the Crox Bottom Site of Nature and Conservation Interest, and keeps the lake constantly fresh and full.

There are as many creatures living on top of the lake as there are living in it, with two natural islands for nesting, along with the new manmade duck island complete with stylish duck huts. The fishing club will be pleased to hear that a large variety of native coarse fish are being delivered soon and the lake will be filled with breeds such as roach, carp, tench, perch and of course the family favourite goldfish.

In addition to the fish and ducks, birds such as robins, wrens, kingfisher, mallards and moorhen been spotted flying amongst the trees, we even had a flying visit from a heron the other day. A new family of frogs from the Rana Temporaria breed join the Bufo Bufo toads to live happily in Lakeshore’s lake amongst the sweet grass reeds, water mint and water dropwort.

Filed under: Bristol, Lakeshore, Urban Splash No comments
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