East Street’s diversity and welcoming nature becomes apparent the moment you set foot on the Bedminster road. An assortment of brightly-coloured independent shops line the street and people sit outside the cafes, enjoying their lunches and basking in the sunshine.
“East Street is very interesting. It’s unique. The businesses are mostly small and independent, so everyone works hard. Since we opened this place two and a half years ago, we have been really welcomed here,” says Olivia from Bubble Play Cafe.
Olivia is also the organiser of the East Street Summer Fayre, an annual event which is taking place on Saturday 13 July from 10am to 5pm. A range of local businesses like Bubble Play Cafe and Pets Palace are set to get involved, selling handmade products and running food stalls.
“It’s a very diverse area with lots of independent shops. You’ll find something for everyone down here,” says Hayley, the owner of Pets Palace.
St Peter’s Hospice are also turning 30 on Saturday, July 13 and will be celebrating by giving visitors the chance to grab a slice of cake from their stall at the fayre.
However, East Street is about to undergo some new changes. A £50m regeneration could see a new cinema built into a refurbished shopping centre, with £5m injected into redeveloping the shopping centre itself.
“Our plans will help reinvigorate the East Street area, which, in its heyday, was the social and economic hub of South Bristol. Securing the cinema will ensure restaurants, cafes and shops will follow suit,” says developer Francis Firmstone.
“The new cinema will become a social hub for the local community and is set to be a catalyst for the wider regeneration of East Street,” Francis adds.
Developers have no doubt that this refurbishment will play a vital part in the regeneration of the area which already acts as a social and retail hub for Bedminster but for now, the only imminent change is the hanging up of bunting and setting up of stalls in time for the fayre.
The East Street Summer Fayre takes place on Saturday, July 13 from 10am to 5pm.