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LocatED acquires former Soundwell College for new free school

The City of Bristol College, advised by Alder King, has sold the freehold of its Soundwell Centre campus in east Bristol for redevelopment as a free school. 

The purchaser, represented by JLL, was LocatED, the government-owned property company responsible for buying and developing sites for new free schools in England. 

The sale price remains confidential and the City of Bristol College will reinvest the proceeds into its four other study centres in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

LocatED is one of the largest purchasers of land in the UK, seeking over 380 permanent sites to build new free schools and help create 600,000 new school places by 2021.  This is its first site acquisition in Bristol. 

The Soundwell campus provides approximately 100,000 sq ft of educational buildings of varied age and design on a 4.8 acre site.  It is expected that LocatED will refurbish the more modern buildings in the centre of the campus and redevelop the remaining accommodation.  

The campus became surplus to City of Bristol College’s requirements and closed in July 2015.  Alder King was appointed to market the site for a range of alternative uses including residential, care and retirement living. 

Ben St Quintin, associate at Alder King, said: “It is very satisfying to conclude this sale on behalf of our clients City of Bristol College.  There were a number of technical issues we had to overcome in order to do so, particularly complications relating to historic coal mining activity beneath the site. 

“The successful but challenging disposal will enable the City of Bristol College to invest further in courses and facilities for its own students and staff.”

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