Bristol puts itself on global map for innovative and green development

March 11, 2014

Bristol’s potential as an area for innovative and sustainable development will be showcased to the world’s largest commercial property industry gathering this week.

Two events at MIPIM, the annual international property investment conference held in the South of France, will highlight development opportunities in Bristol and Bath and explain how the cities intend to use £1bn of Government funding to transform their economies.

Both are being staged by Invest Bristol & Bath, the area’s investment promotion agency, with tomorrow’s headline event, Developing the region – the £1bn opportunity for Bristol & Bath, facilitated by global built asset consultancy EC Harris.

It will include a panel debate with Colin Skellett, chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Paul Marsh, head of projects at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Paul Crossley, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Steve Evans, director of environment and community services at South Gloucestershire Council, and David Turner, strategic director of place-based services at at North Somerset Council.

They will discuss what the region is doing to handle the increase in economic growth from an infrastructure perspective and what schemes the region can progress quickly.

EC Harris South West managing partner Richard Bonner said: “This is an excellent opportunity to show how the Bristol and Bath region is taking the smart approach to the Government’s regeneration policy.

“All the key ingredients for success can be found in the region, including effective leadership, targeted investment in infrastructure and innovative approaches to project funding. 

“This event will showcase how to make private and public sector funding work together.”

Negotiations are now underway with the Government to complete a package of funding with a value to the region of at least £1bn. The MIPIM event will demonstrate how the LEP intends to use this and how the private sector can influence investment decisions and maximise leverage from it.

The region has already secured an anticipated £500m through the Bristol & West of England City Deal, which allows the region to retain the increase in business rates across the Temple Quay Enterprise Zone and its enterprise areas.

Ambitions plans to secure funding with an indicative programme worth £540m are being put forward by the LEP as part of its Strategic Economic Plan, and will compete for a share of the Government’s £2bn a year Local Growth Fund. Some £59m has also been secured from the EU Structural Investment Fund.

LEP chair Colin Skellett said: “Through our Strategic Economic Plan we have identified a programme that addresses market failures and includes some significant investment opportunities, including projects to realise new technologies in quantum computing, robotics and renewable energy, and further development of our key assets, such as Engine Shed, Bristol & Bath Science Park, the National Composites Centre and our world-class advance engineering and aerospace offer.

“We have the strongest-performing region outside London with the strongest property market and we are one of Europe’s prime city regions. This event will be an opportunity for investors to find out more about the proposed projects and see how they can get involved.”

The second MIPIM event, European Green Capital Forum – The Property Market Perspective Roundtable, on Thursday will explore opportunities presented by Bristol’s role as European Green Capital 2015 – a title that recognises the city’s high environmental standards and commitment to further improvements and sustainable development.

The forum will bring together representatives from previous winners of the award including Stockholm, Leicester – the UK’s original sustainable city – and members of the property industry to explore how the status can be used to attract investment, unlock development and deliver growth.

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson will speak at the event, offering Bristol’s perspective on the opportunity as forthcoming host of the award. Liz Dunn, partner at Bristol law firm Burges Salmon, will chair the event.

Liz said: “This event is an opportunity for Bristol to develop its European Green Capital programme building on what others have done before and, most importantly, explore what the private sector can bring to and gain from the huge potential that Green Capital offers for both Bristol and the region.”

Invest Bristol & Bath is representing the region at MIPIM and is responsible for attracting investment to Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and Gloucestershire. The agency is part of the West of England LEP.

MIPIM, staged annually in Cannes, brings together the most senior players in international property development and investment and acts as a showcase for business and development opportunities across the world.

It offers a unique opportunity to find out more about the proposed development projects on the table and how investors can get involved.

Invest in Bristol & Bath is also showcasing the region’s world-class industry clusters, deep talent pool, global transport links and quality of life which combine to make it one of the strongest performing city regions, according to research by think tank Centre for Cities.

The agency, which is part of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will be talking to investors and developers about how they can work with the regional authorities to make the most of the unique levels of public sector investment.


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.