Bristol ‘department store with a difference’ to stay open until at least 2025

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The lease for the space in the former M&S in Broadmead has been extended until December 2025

A Bristol ‘department store with a difference’ is now set to stay open until December 2025. 

The lease has been extended for Sparks Bristol, which was originally due to run until the end of 2023.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The space, which occupies the former M&S building in Broadmead, is operated by Artspace Lifespace and Global Goals Centre.

The charities say they have welcomed more than 350,000 visitors since opening in May 2023. 

A Sparks spokesperson said the vision for the building is to “keep it in use by the community rather than it standing empty and provide an environment in which people can learn imaginative ways to live more sustainably.” 

They added: “Now that the lease has been extended Sparks will be working to improve the building, making it even more of an accessible, welcoming oasis in the city centre.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In long-term, the council plans to redevelop the site as part of its wider vision for Broadmead.

Sparks in Broadmead has had its lease extended until December 2025Sparks in Broadmead has had its lease extended until December 2025
Sparks in Broadmead has had its lease extended until December 2025 | Charlie Watts

The ground floor of Sparks houses the departments of Fashion, Reuse, Food, Education, Nature, Travel and Energy, supporting more than 120 traders. 

The space also provides educational workshops for schools and regular workshops for repairing electrical items and clothing.     

For 2024, it is also also introducing team events for companies to improve their sustainability credentials. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It was important for us that Sparks be a space for everyone,” said Kathryn Chiswell Jones, company manager at Artspace Lifespace. 

“We are proud of what we have achieved to date, with minimal funding. 

“We look forward to developing it further now that we have been awarded more time to do so and hope to make back our initial investment towards the end of 2024. 

 “We’ve already seen a strong social return on our investment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I have been inspired by the connections and partnerships developed at Sparks, and the potential for independent organisations to drive the revitalisation of the high street and sustainable redevelopment of Broadmead." 

As well as places for the public, Sparks has private studios and desk spaces available for people who work in creative industries.

The space is also currently fundraising to deliver more events and schools workshops to inspire action for climate and social justice.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.