For sale: The Brunel-designed building housing the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum

 Feb 07 – BRISTOL’S Old Station, including the British and Empire Commonwealth Museum is on the market – and could be sold for as much as £3 million. 2 Feb 08: (Evening Post) The building, designed by Isam­bard Kingdom Brunel houses the oldest railway terminus in the world. The sale, by the trustees of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, follows their decision to move the museum to London to reach a wider audience. Situated adjacent to Bristol Tem­ple Meads station, the site will be sold on a 299 year lease and includes 88,846 sq ft of buildings on a site of approximately 1.35 acres. The grade I-listed building has enjoyed a £7 million restoration since the museum moved in in 2002, earning it a nomination as a World Heritage Site.
Property agents Knight Frank are selling the site through a sealed bid system and no official guide price has been revealed but property experts believe the site could be sold for as much as £3m. Mark Brunsdon, regional senior director at Clifton property agent GVA Grimley said: “There are lim­itations on its use as it is listed, but it is close to Temple Quay which is redeveloping rapidly “It is unlikely to get planning permission for residential use but the large open spaces would make ideal studios for BBC or ITV and it is a great location. I would expect it to fetch between £2m and £3m.”
The grade-I listed buildings in­clude three elements. These include the Station Offices which were built for the staff for the administration of the Temple Meads station and the Great Western Railway and includ­ed Brunei’s original drawing office and today provides mostly office ac­commodation; the Engine Shed which housed the steam engines and a turntable to rotate the trains as Bristol was a terminus and today houses the museum, the museum cafe and a nursery; and the Pas­senger Shed which is used as an exhibition and venue for events, and has a capacity of 950 people.
Martin Booth, partner at Knight Frank’s Bristol office which is sell­ing the property; said: “The core office area alongside the site has already established itself as the new commercial heart for the city “The vision for Temple Quay as a whole is a vibrant high density mix of development with housing, offices, retail and leisure facilities. “The Old Station is regarded as the focal point and `Jewel in the Crown’ in the Temple quarter.