Enterprise projects

Engine Shed’s vision is to be recognised as a prominent, active, innovative and provocative enabler to sustainable economic growth in collaboration with other local centres; and that the Bristol and Bath city region is a thriving, internationally recognised economic powerhouse with accessible employment in the high-tech, creative and low-carbon sectors for all residents, be they local or moving to the LEP area.

Engine Shed will facilitate significant direct and indirect creation of sustainable jobs in the high-tech, creative and low carbon sectors and help remove long-term barriers to economic growth in the Bristol and Bath city region, related to SMEs in these key sectors, by curating incubation activities from practice up to policy and economic development levels.

It will achieve this by adapting to the economic and social environment, curating, hosting, amplifying and better connecting relevant organisations within and outside Engine Shed.

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 fulfill 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 economic growth – in other words, where we can enhance the ‘scale-up’ ecosystem:-


Money: Investment eco-system hosting a series of investment dinners, sponsoring Silicon Gorge events and facilitating a local investment vehicle, Great Western Ventures. Partner in bmi regional seats for startups where companies can win flights to a European destination.

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

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. This is includes hosting My Future My Choice Learning Ships each Summer since 2014.

– Currently mapping our potential role in the context of the plethora of related activities such as LEP Enterprise Advisers, Future Brunels, TeachFirst, the proposed OATQ free school, Bristol Engagement Hub, PEBL, other Bristol City Council activities such as Inspiring the Future and primary & secondary headteachers meetings and INSET days. We see our role as helping raise aspirations, rather than skills development, of primary and early secondary students. We expect to actively resource this very soon.

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How to find Engine Shed

Engine Shed
Station Approach
Temple Meads


+44 (0)117 903 1100


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