bringing innovation back to where it belongs, where creative heritage comes to life.
The Carriage Works are a unique, historic mixed-use development opportunity, within walking distance of Swindon station and the town centre.
Built around 1876, as part of Brunel’s Great Western Works, the buildings were once the largest carriage works in the country, standing at the very forefront of Victorian industrial innovation.
Forward Swindon is delivering plans to transform Brunel’s legacy into the twenty-first century and beyond. The plans include four phases:
The refurbishment of Units 3 and 5 (West Shed) commenced in early 2017, with the buildings on lease to Swindon Council from then-owner Network Rail. Unit 3 has now been completed and forms part of a new innovation hub known as WorkShed, managed by The Enterprise Network (TEN).
WorkShed opens its doors to the public from June 2018 providing around 80 work spaces to rent on a flexible basis, aimed at start-ups, tech professionals and consultants seeking a vibrant and creative place to do business. Once completed, the refurbished Unit 5 will provide 100 additional work spaces (expected completion date September 2018).
Local companies Bravedog and The Carto Group are among the first to sign up to make WorkShed their home. Join these business pioneers and help shape an emerging new chapter in the life of the Carriage Works and Railway Heritage community.
A ‘land swap’ deal between Network Rail and Swindon Council was concluded in April 2018. The entire Carriage Works and neighbouring Bristol St. car park are now owned by Swindon Borough Council, paving the way for further regeneration.
Phase 2 will see the remainder of the West Shed being redeveloped to create modern work spaces alongside a range of complementary services and amenities, within a ‘campus’ environment. Swindon Council has earmarked funding for Units 7, 9 and 11 (around 15,000-20,000 sqft), with construction works expected to commence in late 2018, subject to planning approval.
Last year the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) announced plans to set up a new Cultural Heritage Institute at the Carriage Works based in Unit 11. The first courses are anticipated to start from September 2019.
The East Shed will eventually provide around 60,000 sqft of workspace for a similar mix of businesses, tech companies, start-ups and SMEs needing affordable, flexible space in easy reach of the station, London and Bristol.
Plans are being finalised for the upgrading of the GWR Bristol Street Tunnel, the main north-south pedestrian link between the town centre and the Outlook retail centre and Steam.