The Tobacco Factory building is one of the few survivors from the great Imperial Tobacco site on Raleigh Road, Ashton, Bristol. It was saved from demolition by Bristol architect George Ferguson who has turned it into a model of urban regeneration. It is now a multi use building housing the Cafe Bar, Thali Cafe, creative industry work space, live/work loft apartments, animation and performing arts schools and one of the most exciting theatre venues in the country.
Strike a light for Independents!
A champion of independent business and a scourge of the multiples and chains, George Ferguson only allows local independent businesses to trade from the Tobacco Factory and intends it to be at the centre of a national campaign. He believes that the local high street, North Street, is characterised by its independent businesses that directly benefit the local economy and that this is a vital element of successful urban renaissance.
Having a strong dislike of the domination by 'multiples', George decided to 'Strike a light for Independents' and do it his way. In Sarah Ford, Venue Manager and co-licensee, he found someone who shares his vision and has the experience and determination to make it work.
Watch a short film about Tobacco Factory. Click here to watch.
Film by Rebecca Goff, Galahad Productions. bexfilms.com
image: Freya Cumming