On 2 December 2015, Engine Shed celebrated its two-year anniversary with a 30% expansion into re-imagined shipping container development Boxworks.

Bristol City Council (BCC) granted planning permission for the development on 9th June 2015 in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

Located adjacent to the Engine Shed, the containers have been transformed into custom-designed workspace for the creative, digital and high-tech industries. They will provide additional capacity for Engine Shed, which reached full occupancy in its first year, and the cluster of businesses and projects wanting to be part of this growing cluster. The Bristol SETsquared Centre, recently named as global number 1 business incubator from UBI and based within Engine Shed, has also seen record levels of sustained occupancy.

New Boxworks tenant, Karl Belizaire from Social Enterprise Works, said this about the development:

“Social Enterprise Works is thrilled to be establishing a new social enterprise hub in the heart of Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone at Boxworks, in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, the Bristol and Bath Social Enterprise Network and Engine Shed. We’re looking forward to hosting our monthly social enterprise surgery in our innovative new offices and working closely amongst the vibrant high tech communities to help demystify social value and the various profit with purpose and social business models available.”

Engine Shed is a ground-breaking collaboration between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, supported by the Homes and Communities Agency. The project contributed an additional £7m to the economy within 12 months of opening.

Boxworks is a meanwhile project that will run for up to two and a half years. It has been designed, built and will be operated commercially by Forward® with services provided by Engine Shed, including access to the iconic Engine Shed Business Lounge, for the expected 120 new occupants of Boxworks.

Gavin Eddy, Forward® CEO said:

“Boxworks is designed to be different – inside and out. Not only is it a great location but the space is eye-catching, flexible, affordable and fun. It is a diverse community of start-ups, early stage small businesses and those requiring grow-on space. Boxworks reflects the breadth and ambition of businesses emerging in Bristol.”

Although Boxworks will not be a permanent installation, it is very much part of the strategic vision for the regeneration of the Enterprise Zone in Bristol, creating employment space for businesses that will benefit the wider West of England.

Nick Sturge, Engine Shed Director, said:

“This marks an exciting point – not only for Engine Shed but also for the Enterprise Zone. This 30% increase in capacity within the Engine Shed ‘campus’ and a stepping stone to our permanent expansion, which we are actively working on now. We are delighted to welcome another 20 enterprises to our community and are particularly pleased that we have been able to support a social enterprise hub in the space – it is important for us to help facilitate learning between not-for-profit and for-profit enterprises. Let the growth continue.”

The enabling of Boxworks has been sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group. Jen Tippin, Managing Director of Retail Business Banking, said:

“We know that having affordable office space in the early stages of any business is crucial to its success, so we’re proud to support Engine Shed.”

This development will address part of the shortage of affordable, flexible and curated workspace before the second phase of Engine Shed opens, with funding from the West of England LEP. Engine Shed phase 2 is expected to open in late 2017, very close to Engine Shed.

Jo Davis, Regional Senior Director of Bilfinger GVA said:

“The innovation, creative and start-up sectors are really important not just to the Bristol economy but to the UK economy. These industries drive into new market sectors and create opportunities that spin off wider regional benefits. Engine Shed and now Boxworks provides Bristol with the platform to be at the forefront of industries, a strong innovation and start-up sector is vital for the future concept of a knowledge sharing economy. For the Enterprise Zone the success of both initiatives is a game changer to securing new private sector investment into the area.”

Further information about the Boxworks tenants is available from Forward®.