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Kal Vaughan
Kal Vaughan
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 30th April 2013

Brunel’s iconic Engine Shed for business centre conversion

Bristol’s historic Brunel Engine Shed at Temple Meads has won a £1.5m investment to convert it into a business centre, capable of hosting at least 60 new companies.

The Engine Shed is one of Bristol’s most iconic Grade 1 listed buildings, constructed in 1842 by Brunel as a terminal for his Great Western Railway and now looks set to be completely refurbished for modern day business offices.

The investment is part of the city council's bold plans to bring employment into the Temple Meads area, with the Engine Shed forming part of a newly created Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, spanning 173 acres.

Once completed, the Engine Shed will house contemporary office space tailored for creative and digital firms, with facilities including hot desks, meeting rooms and a business lounge with coworking space central to the building.

A planning application has been submitted for the new business centre which is reported to being put under consideration within the next few months.

[caption id="attachment_14018" align="aligncenter" width="567"]Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone[/caption]

The Brunel Engine Shed conversion is the centre piece of a business partnership formed by Bristol City Council and Bristol University, with Network Rail and Communities Agency (HCA) providing key contributions to the project.

The new business facility will be managed by Bristol University’s awarding winning business incubator scheme, Bristol SETsquared who will share hold the majority of office space in the building, which it will let out to start-up companies using its services.

Director of Bristol SETsquared, Nick Sturge said: “It’s great to be heading up the Engine Shed facility and bringing together so many groups, from companies and entrepreneurs to academics and students. Everyone involved has a huge sense of excitement for what can be achieved in this great building.

[caption id="attachment_14024" align="aligncenter" width="567"]Brunel Engine Room An inside view: Brunel's Engine Room[/caption]

“The additional space will literally allow Bristol SETsquared to grow and we hope it will become an active hub of world-class innovation and enterprise activity – located within what is arguably one of the UK’s most connected transport hubs.”

It is predicted that the new Enterprise zone will create 17,000 new jobs and entice 400 new companies to the city over the next 20 years. The proposals for Bristol's new business zone will be presented at the world’s biggest property and business convention in the South of France –MIPIM – by the Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson, who will lead his team in the launch and promotion of the new scheme.