On Tuesday 9th June 2015 Bristol City Council (BCC) granted planning permission for an exciting new workspace development “Boxworks” in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

Located adjacent to the Engine Shed, twenty shipping containers will be craned into position at the end of June and transformed into custom-designed workspace for the creative, digital and high-tech industries. These 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, within Engine Shed, has also seen record levels of sustained occupancy and it is envisaged that some of the current virtual SETsquared members will now take space in Boxworks.

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

This development will address part of the shortage of affordable, flexible and curated work-space 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 the second half of 2017, very close to Engine Shed.

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.

Boxworks is inspired by similar projects in London and will pioneer the container-based workspace concept in Bristol.

Nick Sturge, Engine Shed Director, said:

“We are delighted to be working with such an entrepreneurial business as Forward, to create this space on land made available by our partners, the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA). Only with the continued strong support from our partners – the University of Bristol, the City Council, the West of England LEP and the HCA – can this project be delivered in true entrepreneurial fashion.

We have been overwhelmed with growth of the enterprises inside Engine Shed and with interest from other businesses and projects wanting to be a part of the community here. Boxworks will be an exciting addition – and feature – of this community.”

Gavin Eddy, Forward® CEO said:

“Boxworks is a really good example of a public private partnership where a motivated client and an established operator can make things happen fast. Working with Engine Shed we will be delivering exciting and affordable workspace for the SME technology and creative sectors in the heart of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.”
Further information and application criteria are available from Forward®.

It is anticipated that the workspace will be completed and operational by the beginning of August this year.