The Bearpit: North- South view.     

The Bear Pit has the potential to be a space which people rush to.. and not rush through!

The idea is to bring a new lease of life into the space. This can be done in 2 stages:

- Short term design and use changes

- More substantial physical changes involving the remodelling of the subways for retail use and creating level access for pedestrians.

Short term changes

Although the project has the need for long term thought, there are a number of changes which are currently being implemented. These include:

Cafe carts/kiosks - this will provide an opportunity for people to use the Bear Pit as a place to have a cup of tea or something to eat. Having a kiosk/cart in the space provides natural surveillance, which is essential in making the area feel safer and more welcoming. We now have several traders within the Bear-pit- the fruit stall, Bear-pit coffee team alongside other food and trade goods.

Notice and art boards - in order to brighten the space up and provide more life to the area, we have installed a range of art and notice boards around the Bear-pit. It has been a great opportunity for local artists to showcase their work and certainly adds colour and interest to the subways. Other painting around the Bear-pit has taken place such as new toilet signs and a large painted wall.


Sociable seating! - It can be seen in the Bear Pit that sitting (especially with others) is in most ways discouraged. We plan to bring in table and chairs, so people can sit and socialise with others and bring some much needed vitality to the area. 

Buskers platform - the Bear Pit is renound for its musical animation, so the idea is to create a permenant platform from which local musicians can flourish.

Outdoor Play for adults and children- we're looking for interesting installations and facilities that will encourage playful activity in the Bear Pit. Outdoor table tennis has already been installed and we are looking at other ways we can encorporate play into the space.

Long term changes

A potential long term change have been visualised for the Bear Pit:

Two surface crossings - this would be the best way to overcome the access problem of the Bear Pit, which would be easier than sounds as there are already traffic light controlled crossing points at the highway level. A broad walkway could then skirt the boundary of the Bear Pit between Stokes Croft and Haymarket at street level but separated from the road by the existing concrete barrier. A ramp could then gently lead down into the Bear-pit from this crossing, as well as broad steps providing an 'ampitheatre' style seating plan. This walkway would then also overlook the rest of the area, providing good surveillance and safety prospects for the area.

A schedule of possible works is available for download here

Our brochure is available for download here