About us

Housed on three floors of Brunel’s original station, Engine Shed has a number of components that together create an exciting hub of activity where entrepreneurs, academics, students, and corporates can collaborate, inspire, and enable one another. Engine Shed is an event venue, an office space, a facilitator, and a catalyst for change. Our team runs projects to ensure our economy is inclusive, sustainable, and growing – ultimately, our vision is that should be fit for the next generation.

Run by the University of Bristol in collaboration with Bristol City Council, and located next to Bristol Temple Meads station, Engine Shed showcases Bristol and Bath’s strengths in an informative way, and is an ideal place to work, meet, and collaborate.

Engine Shed is home to the Bristol Centre of SETsquared Partnership – the global #1 university backed business incubator. SETsquared and our other strategic tenants including boomsatsuma, TechSPARK, and Boxworks, enable SMEs to access our networks and connect with other members of our ecosystem.

Watch our short film for more information about Engine Shed and its projects:

Engine Shed is:

Purpose-led. Engine Shed exists to create and support an inclusive and sustainable economy in the West of England. This focus guides all projects we pursue; it ensures we are not distracted by specific metrics or outputs, but rather supporting activities that will benefit the wider ecosystem.

Future-focused. Engine Shed doesn’t prioritise short-term wins. We run projects that may not have any immediate pay-off, but which will bring unlikely collaborators together around our shared purpose. We work to ensure our proposition is sustainable for the future, both financially and in terms of resource.

An open door to all sectors. Equality for all. We’re proud of the 91 different languages spoken in the city and wider region. We believe that our strength is in our differences, and in working together for an outcome greater than our own.

Generous with our space. Whether in the Members’ Lounge or in our event and meeting spaces, we try to accommodate everyone: school students, central government workshops, and art installations, to name but a few.

A passionate network weaver. We bring unlikely collaborators together and invite competitors to work under the same roof. We encourage the public and private sectors to come out from their four walls and share space, conversation, and aspirations.

Engine Shed has five key values:

We host residents who we believe will benefit from, or contribute to, our vision: we generate income from rent, event hire, coworking, consultancy, and sponsorship; we use the intelligence that we gather to identify areas where we think our intervention might help achieve our mission, checking first whether we could nudge a new or existing partner to fill the gap; we seed projects according to our values of collaboration, openness, facilitation, fearlessness and excellence, and test new ideas for others to take forward.

Openness. We work openly and encourage others to do the same. We share what we have observed, learned, and discovered, whether through failure or success, so that as many people as possible can benefit. We love to spark and contribute to conversations within and beyond the city-region.

Collaboration. We bring a diverse mix of people and companies together through individual connections, carefully orchestrated projects, and physical proximity, and create practical opportunities for new collaborations to form.

Facilitation. We unearth common interests and provide an independent space to explore them. We share an honest opinion to help others to make informed decisions, and if we have the capacity and are able to accelerate the impact of others by providing support, we will.

Fearlessness. We ask the difficult questions and confront the challenging issues. We act with integrity to achieve ambitious goals for ourselves and for the region. We experiment and try innovative approaches as pioneers in economic development.

Excellence. We have high standards and we are ambitious with our projects, ourselves, our building, and our economy. We work hard to keep our supporters happy and keep skeptics asking questions.

Engine Shed and SETsquared Bristol make up the two constituent parts of the Science Research Foundation (SRF), a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Bristol.