Brunel's engine shed opens as technology centre

Engine shed at Bristol Temple Meads Brunel's engine shed was built in 1841 and was once home to his boardroom and the station master's office

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A new £1.7m innovation centre, based in Isambard Kingdom Brunel's historic engine shed at Bristol Temple Meads railway station, opens on Monday.

The building is part of a "cluster" of digital and creative firms.

The Grade I-listed building is part of the city's Enterprise Zone and companies there will benefit from a business rate discount.

A total of 18 businesses will be based at the Engine Shed with a further 44 using the facilities.

As well as the rates discount, the companies - all from the high-tech, creative and low carbon sectors - will get superfast broadband.

Directors claim the centre could create 5,000 new jobs over the next 15 years as part of Bristol's Enterprise Zone.

The building, which formerly housed the Empire and Commonwealth Museum, will be managed by Bristol Setsquared - the University of Bristol's business acceleration centre.

Also based there will be the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Invest Bristol and Bath inward investment team and DigiCity, operated by the University of Bath Innovation Centre.

Director of Setsquared, Nick Sturge, said: "These are exciting times for the business community in Bristol.

"Thanks to Brunel, his engine shed once epitomised the cutting-edge of technology in the 19th Century and now it will be a hub for new technology in the 21st Century."

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