Who are we?

Video made by Duncan Harrison and Jerry Dobson for Bristol Spaceworks 2020

Bristol Spaceworks was officially launched in 2010 from a merger of two not for profit social enterprises operating in Bristol's inner city east side, East Bristol Enterprise and Bristol East Side Traders (BEST). East Bristol Enterprise Ltd was established in 1985 to improve the economic and employment prospects in Easton and the surrounding areas by offering business start-up advice, training and flexible workspace for establishing local businesses.

The Old Co-op building in Chelsea Road, Easton was purchased with help from Bristol City Council and Central Government in 1985. A refurbishment was undertaken in 2004/5 and the building now offers 26 good quality offices of varying sizes. In 1991 East Bristol Enterprise developed the site formerly occupied by Easton Colliery, and subsequently the Julian Flook Wine Supermarket in Felix Road, to create a three storey purpose built modern and spacious business centre. In 1999 an additional block was built giving further workshop and office/studio space to create Easton Business Centre.

In 2007 East Bristol Enterprise began working closely with Bristol East Side Traders (BEST) as they redeveloped two historic buildings in the area and turn them into thriving enterprise centres. The Old Library on Trinity Road in Old Market is a grade II listed Victorian Library serving the St Judes and St Philips area of the city. The Library moved to Junction 3 in 2012. The centre now houses 9 workspaces of varying sizes. The Old Schoolhouse in Barton Hill which was purchased from the Community at Heart charity and has been an important local community building since the early C20th and now houses 24 artist studios, a large meeting room/conference facility and a further 8 offices.

BEST was established in 1999 as a specialist regeneration and enterprise support agency working across the east side on environmental improvements and enterprise solutions to the retail areas of Stokes Croft, Stapleton Road, Old Market, Lawrence Hill and Redfield. Working with consortium partners, BRAVE, BusinessWest, CEED, East Bristol Enterprise, CSV, Social Enterprise Works and the Co-operative Development agency business advice and support services have been delivered to businesses in the eastside for a number of years through teams of advisors working within the community.

The merger has offered a unique opportunity to grow and expand as a dynamic and locally based social enterprise offering a wide range of support services to the small business community. Many established local businesses have benefited over the years from our business advice services, incubation facilities, area marketing initiatives, business training and events, small business grants and networking opportunities. Additionally, BEST has always been influential in lobbying for environmental improvements and funding to support and sustain the health and viability of local shopping areas which give access to local goods and services and provide important places for social interaction.

The organisations have collectively been supporting local businesses in starting up and getting established for a quarter of a century and will continue to provide innovative and practical solutions to the needs of the local business community. We believe very firmly that building a strong local economy supports the general health and vitality of local communities, providing local employment, goods, services and opportunities.

For further information about Bristol Spaceworks, services, events and opportunities contact:  info@bristolspaceworks.co.uk.

For a more indepth History of the 5 business Centres and their sites, we are working on an ongoing Research Project, the results of which we are posting here:   https://www.bristolspaceworks.co.uk/about-us/history/

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