‘Significant’ growth forecast for Bristol’s economy as its tech and creative sectors lead the way

January 24, 2014

Bristol is poised for “significant” economic expansion over the next five years, out-performing even London in the pace of its growth, new research shows.

The city’s burgeoning information and communications technology (ICT) sector and its established role as a centre for professional, scientific and technical expertise will pave the way for a period of rapid growth, according to a study carried out by global property group Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Adding its emerging creative and media industry to this will propel Bristol into the fast lane, overtaking fast-growth cities like Manchester and Birmingham.

Bristol is already viewed as the third corner of a media and tech triangle that takes in London and Manchester.

The research, revealed this week by to an audience of Bristol businesses, will be echoed on Monday with a major new report from respected urban think tank Centre for Cities will confirm the Bristol area’s status as the most economically resilient outside of London. 

JLL head of UK research Jon Neale told the firm’s Bristol market property review that the ICT and professional, scientific and technical sectors will be “the real engine room of the economy” as it emerges from recession, while the public sector and manufacturing will continue to lag behind.

Over the past couple of year’s Bristol has emerged as the third fastest growing city in England behind London and Manchester, he said.

But Bristol is likely to outperform them over the next four to five years.

“My forecast is that Bristol is expected to show a significant return to growth over the next four or five years and will be the only one of the Big Six [provincial English cities] to outperform London,” said Mr Neale.

Bristol’s property market was already showing strong signs of growth, the forecast showed.

JLL lead director – South West and Wales, Jeremy Richards, gave an overview of the office and industrial property sectors in Bristol and also looked at the transformation on the cards for the city centre as 3,000 new homes are built, many of them in former office blocks – link to story: Bristol city centre set for new residential revolution

The JLL research followed the latest Market Monitor report from regional chartered surveying firm Alder King, which has its main office in Bristol. It forecasts that the city’s commercial property market will bounce back strongly this year with more speculative office developments and higher rents – link to story

* The event also gained a highly-entertaining insight into the recent Lions tour from guest speaker Andy Irvine, British & Irish Lions tour manager 2013 and former Scotland international.

Pictured: From left, Jon Neale, Paul Baker, Andy Irvine and Jeremy Richards

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