Our vision is that the Bristol & Bath city region is a growing, inclusive and sustainable economy that benefits everyone who lives here, and is recognised internationally as innovative and dynamic.
We strive to achieve that vision by using our neutral space, our connections, our partners, our financial surplus and our passion to encourage and enable people, businesses and organisations to fulfil their potential and take full advantage of the rich diversity of our collective capability.
We do this because we have an entrepreneurial zeal, a passion for new business methods and for learning, the courage to try new things, a healthy impatience and a generosity of spirit towards economic development in the region that creates financial value which, in turn, creates social value.
We host a number of strategic tenants (known as Components), have meeting spaces for collaboration to take place (rooms for hire and members’ business lounge), enable co-working for small enterprises to access our networks, and host and support events that connect actors in our ecosystem. We use the money, intelligence and knowledge that those provide to fulfil our ambitions.
The way we work is built on our values of excellence, integrity, collaboration, connectivity, sustainability, diversity, acceleration, experimentation, innovation and ambition.
All revenue raised through rent, meeting room hire, Business Lounge membership and sponsorship contributes to an operating surplus. Each year that surplus is split 3 ways with 70% to Bristol City Council and University of Bristol to pay back the capital they invested in the building.
30% of the surplus goes into the Engine Shed “Enterprise Fund” which is used to reinvest in the facility and seed projects which help fulfil its mission.
We are active in two main areas where we can use our trusted relationships, local knowledge, connections, venue, profile, location, passion and seed money to make an impact for the long term (we took a 15 year lease on the building, so that’s our horizon):
- Cluster building– actively using the connections made, and intelligence gathered, within Engine Shed to stimulate economic activity – such as hosting, sponsoring and initiating events, supporting the local authorities, the LEP and Invest Bristol & Bath in their work and hosting national and international delegations.
- Project work – under the guidance of the Engine Shed Advisory & Governance Boards, we have identified some key challenges to long-term, sustainable, inclusive economic growth:
Investment and Scale Up: Enhancing the investment eco-system – including
- hosting an Investor-in-Residence services to provide guidance to anyone to raise finance.
- hosting a series of investment dinners,
- sponsoring Silicon Gorge investor pitching events
- supporting local investment networks
- working on creating a vehicle, Great Western Ventures,
- partner in the bmi regional seats for startups programme
- in May 2017, we appointed a full-time “Scale Up Enabler” to work on developing the broader Scale Up ecosystem, so that all companies that have the potential to scale up, can do.
Innovation: ensuring we have a sectorally diverse economy for the future
- Subsidising Social Enterprise Works, Bristol & Bath Social Enterprise Network and School for Social Entrepreneurs to co-locate in one of the Boxworks containers
- subsidising a games incubator in ground floor office suite
- sponsoring new networks in the region
- Enabling the IoTBoost LoRaWAN project
Talent: Supporting a “Diverse workforce for the future”
- There is an economic imperative to ensuring we have a diverse talent pool for employers to tap into, in the future, in jobs we don’t yet understand. The Bristol & Bath area has a fantastically diverse pool of young people who we MUST include in the growth of the city region because we need them. Engine Shed’s role is to help raise the aspirations of young people in the area and connect them with pathways to quality employment.
- Engine Shed has already hosted a number of school groups for talks and exposure to the working environment of world-class tech startups, as well as over 1900 primary school children carrying out ‘maker’ type activities.
- Our strategy, here, has 5 strands
- Work with existing major partners:
- Learning Ships with My Future My Choice
- INTOuniversity visits for entrepreneur days for year 5 & 6 and girls and boys in work days for year 9
- Host staff INSET days at Engine Shed.
- Support a school students’ work experience programme
- Maintaining a public list of known actors in this sectpr
- Publish calls for projects that utilise Engine Shed facets