Project of the month: Engine Shed, Bristol
Contractor Rydon has given a Bristol landmark a new lease of life. In a £1.7m project, Brunel’s grade I listed Engine Shed has been transformed into a launch pad for a new generation of technology-based businesses.
Rydon was appointed by Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to convert the 1841 building into a business and innovation centre. The building had been home to the Empire and Commonwealth Museum since 1980.
It will act as a permanent base for 20 companies and provide resources and facilities for a further 40, including a business lounge at the centre of the building. The new facility will act as a “shopfront” for potential investors in the region, and will be managed by Bristol SETsquared Centre, the University’s business incubator.
Bristol’s Engine Shed will provide a permanent base for 20 tech companies.
At the opening ceremony on 2 December, minister for cities Greg Clark said: “It’s apt to create such a hub in Brunel’s Engine Shed because Bristol’s been one of the engines of growth for the whole of the UK economy. The city’s gone from strength to strength, building on the talent that’s been attracted here so that it can power forward the whole of the national economy.”
Paul Barber, south west regional director at Rydon Construction, added that as a locally based contractor, it was delighted to help in “presenting Bristol as a focal point for UK business and innovation”.
The project was mobilised at a speed Brunel would surely have approved of, moving from initial council approval in March to completion at the end of November.