The Modern, New Town

Yate Shopping CentreYate Shopping Centre (1974)

In the early 1960s, the village of Yate changed dramatically. New Town development brought many newcomers to Yate from Bristol, all over Britain and abroad. The local economy was booming and the town was seen as fresh and modern. The population more than quadrupled between 1965 and 2000.

The Newcomers arrive

Yate grew steadily after World War One; new housing was built south of Station Rd. and new estates at The Ridge and the Aerodrome were planned but Yate remained a small, tight-knit village.

The area was earmarked for New Town development after World War Two; the Shopping Centre was built 1965-1970 and was soon followed by large housing estates which came to dominate the Yate landscape.

How did shopping change in Yate?

Although Yate had grown and become more industrialised in the first half of the 20th century, the focus of village life remained the small, family-run shops along Station Rd.

New Town Shopping

Yate Shopping Centre Opening in GazetteGazette: Opening of Yate Shopping Centre (Sept 1965)

A brand new, traffic-free, American-style Shopping Centre was built between 1965 and 1970 bringing with it national chain stores, previously only seen in Bristol.

New roads and a purpose-built car park led to a new kind of shopping.

The new Centre had a high profile opening; thousands came to see national celebrities, Mary Rand, Pat Phoenix and Ted Ray.

The Shopping Centre has grown since with the addition of supermarkets and leisure facilities.

What happens next?

Yate continues to grow and attract more residents. The north side of Yate has grown rapidly since the 1970s with the development of areas such as Brimsham Park.

The Bristol area is thriving and Yate can look forward to more housing and development in the years to come.

The New Town nearly didn’t happen!

The post-war planners for Gloucestershire advised against developing Yate. They felt the high water table made Yate unsuitable for building houses. Their preferred site for the New Town was Sodbury Common (east of Chipping Sodbury) but opposition in Sodbury caused Yate to become the favoured site.

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Photos or Film from Yate's Past - If you own something of interest then contact Yate Heritage Centre.

Yate Heritage Centre, Church Road, Yate, Bristol BS37 5BG. Tel: 01454 862200

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Learning with Yate Heritage Centre

We work with Original local archive material, photographs, maps, census forms and oral history

  • Workshops Activities
  • KS1, KS2 and KS3
  • Local History, Life and Events

Inspire the curiosity of your class. Help them to understand the complexity of people's lives, the process of change, the diversity and relationships between different groups in their own locality through time.

  • Changes within living memory
  • Significant Event of National Importance
  • Events beyond living memory

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