“A slide in the boardroom, how ridiculous” we enviously mutter to ourselves with each new report of a kooky Google office opening. Alas, for those of us without endless pools of cash and global omnipotence it seems the bouncy castle in the canteen is just a pipe dream. This, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of bustling, well connected, and, dare we say it, affordable workspaces for Bristol’s tech savvy startups to choose from. Here are a few of our top picks.
77 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RD
Not so much cheap and cheerful as creative and connected, 77StokesCroft is a lively work and studio space situated within the city’s trendiest quarter. The key focus here is on collaboration between residents many of whom have been chosen for their innovative approach, including games developers, data analysts, and software specialists. Ideal for those with big ideas but limited funds, our only wish is that there were more places like 77StokesCroft throughout the country.
Rates: For all enquiries as to rent and costs click here.
Amenities: tea/coffee facilities, lounge space, some on street parking with numerous car parks in the surrounding area.
Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, Bristol, BS16 7FR
It’s big, it’s new(ish), and it’s most definitely clever. Catering specifically to science and tech businesses, the Bristol & Bath Science Park is a thoroughly modern set of buildings slap bang in the middle of an area renowned for its leading research, development and innovation within these fields. So much so that it can lay claim to having the highest concentration of PhD graduates in the UK (take that Oxbridge). From hot desks to laboratories, the park has everything new businesses and entrepreneurs could ask for all nestled within leafy, eco-friendly surroundings.
Rates: virtual offices/hot-desks £85 pcm, office spaces available from £325 pcm.
Amenities: cafe/restaurant, on-site parking provided.
- Find out more: Interview: Tom Beasley, Head of the Bristol & Bath Science Park
- You may like: 6 amazing cutting-edge tech projects happening in the South West right now
Leadworks, Anchor Square, Bristol BS1 5DB
Bristol VR Lab (BVRL) is a specialised coworking space for companies and individuals working in the fields of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality technology.
Residents can have unparalleled access to the latest high-end tech in their field. It really is the place to be for anyone working in the sector. BVRL will connect you with the latest opportunities, making you aware of funding initiatives, projects to get involved in and jobs that may be of interest.
Rates: resident package £200/month, VR explorer package £600/month, membership – contact
Amenities: access to high-end VR, AR, MR and 360° equipment, on hand advice, access to talks and events
5th Floor, 1 Temple Way, Bristol, BS2 0BY
Opened in September 2015, this funky and relaxed co-working space in the centre of Bristol on Temple Way is run by desk-rental service Neardesk. This means it’s a space that is really easy to pop in and out of as you can hire it by the minute just by swiping your Neardesk card. These cards can be used in other co-working spaces in the area too.
With a Tardis you can work in (which is bigger on the inside), Lego-themed meeting areas and breakout spaces in a simulated garden, this is a space designed to inspire the creative mind. Regardless of what your work involves or whether you require work space for a couple of hours for a meeting, or want to find some permanent offices, DeskLodge and its top-of-the-range coffee machine is ready and waiting for you.
Rates: hot desks and guests £3/hour or £20/day (whichever is cheaper). Fixed Desk Rental £200-£275/month. Contact for private office prices.
Amenities: kitchen, free coffee, meeting areas, event space
- See our full profile: DeskLodge – Bristol-based co-working offices with a difference
2 Redcliffe Way, Bristol BS1 6NL
DeskLodge calls DeskLodge House their “newest and most creative space to date.” Located two minutes from Bristol Temple Meads, it’s a great place to be based for startups, SME’s, freelancers and expanding companies alike. All DeskLodgers can enjoy use of meeting rooms, cycle storage and the buzz of being in an environment that hosts regular topical events.
DeskLodge facilitates connections between like-minded people in a relaxed yet vibrant space – the opportunity for collaboration could propel your business to dizzy heights.
Rates: hot desks and guests £3/hour or £20/day (whichever is cheaper), fixed desk rental £260-275/month, private office – contact for pricing
Amenities: yoga, office pantry, various discounts with DeskLodge card, free tea and coffee, meeting rooms, 1GB internet, phone booths, events & socials, plus two days free hotdesking
Station Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH
Who needs an office when you can have an incubator? No, we’re not talking biology, but referring to the business incubation centre that is SETsquared’s Engine Shed – an award winning facility geared towards supporting high-tech startups.
Comprising 17 offices, shared desk spaces, meeting rooms, and a business lounge, this Grade 1 listed building is a hive of connectivity in terms of it’s business and travel links, being situated next to the city’s Temple Meads Station. He may not have included it in his original design, but we’re sure Brunel would have approved.
Rates: meeting room hire starts from £40/hour and £180/day dependent on the space.
Amenities: no free parking, but numerous car parks in the surrounding area.
- You may like: Need To Know: Top tech incubators in the South West
35 King Street, Framework, Bristol BS1 4DZ
Framework is among the newest hubs you can become a member of. Based in a Grade II listed building, Framework has an inspired vibe, brimming with greenery and spacious design, it’s not a bad environment to work in. This space dedicated to tech and digital creatives – people who design, code, create amazing new products and innovations, have a small agency, design, video or illustration practise.
There is a range of benefits for its members, including the opportunity to run events in their dedicated space and the chance to attend the many workshops on AI, website building and more.
Rates: community £100/month, coworking £200/month, dedicated £300/month
Amenities: meeting rooms, a library, a lounge, collaboration space, phone booths, shower, free tea and coffee, 1GB fibreH
- You may like: Need to know: Top female tech groups in the South West
108c Stokes Croft, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 3RU
Looking for somewhere a little more, shall we say, laid back? We’ve got just the ticket. Targeted towards digital designers and developers, Mild Bunch is a co-working studio situated in the heart of the art quarter that is Stokes Croft.
The atmosphere may be informal, but the ethos is all about sharing and learning from each other, making it the perfect space for a creative new business looking to develop a more off-the-wall approach.
Rates: £225 per month all inclusive for a full-time desk.
40 Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1HP
Are you an ambitious individual or a part of a growing company? Origin Workspace could be the place for you. Another new kid on the block, Origin Workspace boasts an impressive list of perks. Wellness is central to how they run things so you can expect free fruit on tap and with an in-house gym, you can exercise your body and mind at work, perfect for any necessary destressing.
Its aim is to create Bristol’s most engaged, collaborative and active business community. From access to business surgery sessions, a variety of workshops and flexible desk space plans, startups have the opportunity the thrive in this dynamic environment.
Rates: lounge membership £85/month hot desk part-time £175/month, host desk full-time £275/month, dedicated desk £350/month, cellular office space £450/month
Amenities: meeting rooms, members’ lounge, roof terrace, business surgery sessions, Connect Card, fruit deliveries, superfast internet, Origin Workspace app, free tea and coffee.
Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EH
Those in search of industrial chic need look no further. Housed in a former paint and varnish factory, Paintworks describes itself as ‘Bristol’s creative quarter,’ and with offices, artist studios, a bar, diner, and exhibition hall, they have built a strong case.
A mix of restored 19th century brick warehouses, the development offers live and work spaces for creative companies and individuals (there are desks available for hire) with a key focus on building community within the site. After all, who needs garden cities when you can have tech villages?
Rates: desk space between £180-200 pcm. Room and office rents vary, for details of currently available spaces click here.
Amenities: bar, cafe/restaurant, events space, pay-as-you-go car hire, parking inclusive for certain spaces, otherwise some free parking available.
York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol, BS2 8QH
If you’re a creative or social entrepreneur (or both!), this is the hub for you. Its bright and relaxed office spaces are varied and so perfect for artists, designers, freelancers, startups and entrepreneurs alike, with plenty of opportunities for collaboration and networking too.
If you’re also a cake fan (come on, who isn’t?), you’re in luck. With the hub’s cake Wednesdays, you can meet other like-minded members whilst scoffing on the sweet stuff.
Giving them a go is easy as well, with a free 1-day trial pass plus a business coaching session for new members followed by 6-months at a discounted rate.
Rates: coworking passes available for 30hrs/month for £60 right up to unlimited passes for £140. Private studios start from £150/month. Full rate information available here.
Amenities: fibre optic internet, communal kitchen with free tea and coffee, meeting rooms, event space, shower facilities, indoor bike storage and lockers
1 Victoria St, Bristol BS1 6AA
This new coworking space is a great place to reside as a start-up. Runway East knows what you need to run a successful business. Not only is the space filled with the necessities, but it has also mastered the art of a productive work vs play balance.
Members can enjoy access to over 9,000 square feet of break out areas, including a huge chill-out lounge and a rooftop terrace that looks over the river, as well as being treated to cake Wednesdays and the occasional drink. On the flip side, residents have the opportunity to receive perks of up to £15k with Runway East’s innovative ‘Start-up Toolkit’ and, of course, have the opportunity to connect with dozens of ambitious and engaged startups.
Rates: hot desks from £199/monthm, dedicated desks £280/month private offices £325/month
Amenities: free access to meeting rooms, high speed internet, free tea and coffee, member events (including weekly drinks, learning opportunities and lunches as well as the chance to host your own events), ROI (regular opportunities with investors), break out rooms, Runway feasts
133 Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6UX
With its large open spaces, white walls, and polished concrete floors, you’d be forgiven for confusing Spike Island with a modern art gallery, which it kind of is. But don’t let the minimal, ultra-sheen design intimidate you, as this ‘international hub’ not only caters to contemporary art and design – as well as an exhibition space it houses artist studios and a print workshop – but also offices for creative businesses. In keeping with its hipster ethos there’s even a cafe serving specialist coffee and seasonal food alongside crafts beer. No doubt, for those moments when you need a little help to get the creative juices flowing.
Rates: Spike Design shared office space full membership costs £175 pcm (inclusive of business rates and utilities), hot desking is £20 per day. Separate office space varies, for enquiries click here.
Amenities: cafe/restaurant, gallery space, print workshop, film production studio, some on street parking available with a pay and display car park close by.
- See our full profile: Workspace profile: Spike Island, creative community
31 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1HP
Traversing the boundaries between tech and creative, Studio31 is home to a number of exciting industries, including designers, film makers, musicians and the team from one of the UK’s leading music magazines – so any growing tech or creative individual, startup or established business should feel at home here with a varied community buzzing full of ideas.
Based in one of the more sophisticated and beautiful areas of Bristol, close to boutique shops and the infamous Clifton Suspension Bridge, it’s an area that’s sure to impress visiting clients whilst still being just a stone’s throw from Bristol Temple Meads and the centre of town.
Rates: Hotdesking fees stand at £2.50/ hour, £15/ day, £49/ week or £175/ month. And although their office spaces are currently full, they have plans to expand this in early 2018 so things could change over the coming months.
Amenities: all inclusive rent, discounts on local bars, restaurants and cafes, 50% on Square Club membership, secure bike storage, 24/7 access
17 Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1HB
Bristol-based company Quarter has opened Square Works – a flexible workspace designed specifically to help businesses flourish. Members can enjoy the same benefits as the adjoining private members club, The Square. Privileges include invitations to exclusive networking events, delivered-to-your-desk restaurant food and complimentary prosecco.
Square Works is a coworking hub that truly believes in the power of community. With the ambition to ensure their members achieve their goals, Square Works don’t leave their residents without.
Rates: light-plus £90-£250/month, desk £350/month, private office – contact/ studio 31 – contact
Amenities: 24/365 access, curated events calendar, superfast internet, meeting rooms, members lounge, organic teas and coffees, showers and lockers.
11-17 Backfields Lane, Bristol, BS2 8QW
New kid on the block is Pollen Place (previously Work Differently), a colourful and creative office space in a cobbled side alley of the hip Stokes Croft area of Bristol.
Beyond the standard desk and kettle, Work Differently lives up to its name by being the only coworking space in the UK to offer residents e-commerce, storage, professional photography and distribution facilities alongside deskspace, networking and talks.
Even if you’re a freelancer or simply looking for a cool space to work, it’s worth noting the space’s mega fast broadband (500mbps fibre), bike shed, bean-to-cup coffee machine, fresh fruit and Friday beers every week.
Rates: full-time desks are £170/month, part-time desks £55/month, flexi-desk £20/day and meeting room hire £20/hour.
Amenities: free coffee, fresh fruit and Friday beers, bike shed, discounted use of distribution and storage hub
St. Phillips Central, Albert Rd, Bristol BS2 0XJ
Unit DX is the incubator for all things science. If you’re in need of a lab, this is your place.
Unit DX is welcoming science entrepreneurs, offering them a space to research and innovate. With a focus in biodesign and quantum technologies, the incubator has the ambition to continue to build on the scientific ecosystem already established here in Bristol. Becoming a member at Unit DX gives you the opportunity to access specialist equipment and tap into expertise through their instrumentation link with the Universities of Bristol and Bath.
Rates: private lab space/ bench space/ dedicated desk/ virtual membership – contact.
Amenities: access to specific equipment and expertise, meeting rooms, event space, catering available, breakout areas
As previously mentioned, our list is by no means a comprehensive one, and there are many other exciting workspaces throughout Bristol and the South West to check out. Think of our guide as an introduction to alternative work spaces and, who knows, you too could one day be sliding down to your desk in a burst of inspiration.
Have we missed a place? Tell us about it!
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[Image credits: Paintworks: rbrwr via photopin cc. Spike Island: Watt_Dabney via photopin cc. Hamilton House Beatnic via photopin cc. Bristol Science & Business Park (BSBP) Joe Dunckley via photopin cc. Chloë Eardley in Mild Bunch HQ – by John Tan via Flickr under CC license 2.0. Redbrick House: Joe Clarke.]