Old M&S building to become new eco-artspace

Old M&S building to become new eco-artspace

Posted on: 18 Nov 2022

The former M&S unit in Broadmead is set to be revitalised in April of 2023 – becoming a new, community eco-space.


Broadmead, and Bristol at large, is in a massive state of flux with regards to retail – the pandemic shook things up, and it looked to be an uncertain future for many of the city’s biggest retail institutions.


One such business affected was Broadmead’s Mark’s & Spencer’s, which was shut down for good at the start of this year. But now, a phoenix is rising from its ashes.



Sparks – a reference to M&S’ colloquial nickname “Marks & Sparks” - is a new arts & sustainability hub that will inhabit the shell of M&S like a glorious hermit crab.


Jointly created by Artspace Lifespace – proprietors of nearby legendary art space, The Island – and Global Goals Centre – an educational charity with a focus on sustainability – the new space is planned to be a “vibrant, positive venue where local people and visitors can shop, recycle, and explore what a greener, fairer, and creative future could look like”.


The building will be used as a hub for local artists including an artist R&D space, as well as a reuse shop providing recycled goods, repair, and education projects for schools.



Whilst the plans are still in development, Sparks promises to help ‘upskill’ young people and the public in repair and reuse – as well as provide an “incubation space” for innovative ideas to help fight climate change, and the cost of living crisis.


Alongside the space’s climate-focused workshops, spaces, and shopping opportunities, Sparks is also set to provide affordable space for artists to rent – following in the footsteps of The Island.


Sparks will occupy the space on a ‘meanwhile use’ basis until the site is redeveloped, aiming to open in April 2023 and run for at least six months. If you think you have something to offer Sparks, you can get in touch with them here.

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at patrickb@365bristol.com.