Bristol’s Cabinet has approved a proposal to enter into an agreement with building firm Skanska to redevelop the derelict George and Railway site (pictured right) at Temple Meads station to expand the Engine Shed technology hub.
“Engine Shed 2 will give us a number of things which will help boost the high tech, and other sectors, in the West of England”
“Engine Shed 2 will give us a number of things which will help boost the high tech, and other sectors, in the West of England,” says Nick Sturge, director of Engine Shed (pictured left). “Scale gives us financial security to continue delivering the business support through SETsquared, network event hosting, connecting and facilitating of activities that we do now. We will also have space for teaching space where we hope to host some exciting innovation programmes and also space for additional incubators, accelerators or hubs that can deliver more specialist support.”
Supporting tech businesses
The technology business hub is a collaborative project between Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the West of England LEP, which opened in 2013 and reached full occupancy within 12 months. It houses the University’s Bristol SETsquared Centre, which was named as the best university business incubator in the world last year and has supported a record number of technology businesses. In the last 10 years, the SETsquared Partnership has supported around 1,000 companies and helped them raise more than £1bn in capital.
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“This will give us a significantly higher profile in the city physically,” says Nick. “With the work we have planned, it allows us to better engage across the diverse communities of the city-region and help increase opportunities of more young people so that we have a richly diverse workforce in the high-tech and creative industries, for our future.”
The deal is part of the extension of the Enterprise Zone to parts of Redcliffe and other sites close to the existing boundary, would allow future retained business rates to be used to further develop the zone. Redevelopment of the station would open up the Temple Meads East area.
Following further work to determine exact boundaries of the Zone, proposals will be submitted by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership for consideration by the government. Subject to approval, the extension would come into effect in April 2017.
SETsquared is hosting its latest Idea2Pitch event at the EngineShed on Wed 19 October for anyone thinking of setting up a technology business and would like to find out more about what support services SETsquared can offer.
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