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‘Boxworks’ gets green light

Artist’s impression of Boxworks at the Engine Shed Childs & Sulzmann

11 June 2015

Bristol City Council has granted planning permission for a ground-breaking new workspace development in which the University is a leading partner.

‘Boxworks’, adjacent to the Engine Shed in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, will consist of 20 shipping containers, transformed into custom-designed workspace for local creative, digital and high-tech industries.  

The containers, which will arrive at the end of June, will provide additional capacity for Engine Shed, which reached full occupancy in its first year, and for the businesses and projects joining 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 take space in Boxworks.

Engine Shed, a collaborative project between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, contributed £7 million to the economy within 12 months of opening; a second phase of Engine Shed is due to open in 2017, but meanwhile there is a shortage of affordable, flexible, curated workspace. Boxworks – designed, built and operated commercially by Forward Space, with services provided by Engine Shed – addresses this by offering space for up to 120 new occupants.  

Nick Sturge, Engine Shed Director, said: ’We are delighted to be working with such an entrepreneurial business as Forward Space, to create this space on land, leased from our partners, the Homes and 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 to this community.’

The workspace is expected to be operational by the beginning of August.

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