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Plans have been submitted for the redevelopment of Brunel's Old Station, formerly the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, into a hub for start-ups and creative businesses.

The scheme, part of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, was originally named Creative Harbour but will now be known as Engine Shed, the plans have revealed.

The proposals for the grade I-listed property, submitted by Childs and Sulzmann Architects on behalf of Science Research Foundation at the University of Bristol, include the conversion of the existing Homes and Communities Agency-owned building to provide additional office floor space.

The development intends to offer flexible space to accommodate the changing requirements of its users and create a "vibrant and exciting space".

It will include work areas with a high-tech businss incubator, growth hub, meeting rooms, boardrooms and open plan and cellular office space.

The scheme will also have space for partnering organisations to share spaces, a social space including a café and a collaboration space for promotions and performances to be used by both the occupants of the space and visitors.

The planning documents said the development would act as a "shop window" for a network of "highly competitive inward investment opportunities" based around the enterprise zone and five other enterprise areas in the region.

It would also provide "a beacon for all the globally significant innovation and entrepreneurship that goes on in the region", while the change of name to Engine Shed "clearly speaks of a mechanism for driving forward".

The scheme is expected to create 150 new jobs, 110 of which would be full time. Work is anticipated to start in April, according to the planning documents.

Brunel's Old Station was designed by the iconic engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and built in 1841. It is the oldest surviving purpose built railway terminus and closed in 1965.

The 173-acre Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, which was launched last April, is anticipated to create 17,000 new jobs and bring 400 new companies to the city over the next two years.


Article by
Kaleigh Watterson

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