It has been a challenging year for everyone but a great deal has happened in the One City world, so as we say goodbye to 2020, we still have some updates and news to share with you all below. December saw our City Gathering take place, some festive cheer courtesy of the Bristol City Centre BID team’s advent initiative and a new ‘We are Bristol’ video launched to celebrate the great work people in the city have been involved in to make sure no families go hungry during the pandemic. See below for some other news, dates, videos that may interest you and your organisations.


As One City, we gathered this December

Last Friday (18th), more than 350 people from all corners of Bristol came together at the City Gathering to discuss the challenges we currently face but also to look at the opportunities this year has brought to help shape and build a better future. Those involved in the day included speakers from Bristol City Robins Foundation and Bristol Rovers Community Trust, as well as Daniel Edozie, Captain of the Bristol Flyers, and Bristolian actor Joe Sims, who shared his belief in empowering communities and raising awareness of his fantastic initiative ‘500 reasons’.

Dame Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of the Prince’s Trust, was the event’s special guest who spoke eloquently about her reflections on the impacts of the pandemic nationally, what we should be focusing on as a society and the importance of doing this in partnership. The Prince’s Trust has been supporting young people through the pandemic and wants to continue working with Bristol to provide more employment and training opportunities for young people in the city. Dame Martina also urged business leaders to work with youth organisations to help more disadvantaged young people get the work experience and job opportunities they need.

At the end of the event, we all said a fond farewell and a big thank you to Guy Orpen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bristol, who is retiring at the end of December.  Guy has played a key role in supporting the development of the One City Approach in recent years, and we wish him all the best in his next chapter.

To find out more or to get involved in the next City Gathering, please contact us at


We are Bristol release video on the food system and a special Christmas message to children and young people

Early December saw the launch of the ‘We Are Bristol’ video ‘Bristol One City: Food system collaboration in response to COVID-19’, focusing on how Bristol pulled together as a city during the pandemic to make sure we could overcome some of the issues in our food system, refocus our efforts and keep families fed over the last six months. Click here to hear the inspirational stories from those involved.

Just in time for Christmas, there is also a special message from Mayor Marvin Rees thanking our children and young people for being brilliant in such a difficult year, click here to view.


Lighting up Bristol for Christmas

The Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) launched Bristol Advent’ures at the start of December. The project, designed to support local businesses this Christmas, has seen buildings all around the city centre lit up each day in December with a selection of Christmas lyrics. The illuminated messages will reappear on the buildings every evening until Christmas Eve with locations from Park Street to Cabot Circus, and City Hall to Broadmead. Follow @bristolbid to see them all!


Stepping up applications open in January

The Stepping Up Diversity Leadership Programme is an award-winning talent pipeline in Bristol and the wider region. It’s in its fourth year and has just announced the launch of the next intake to the programme which will start in April 2021. The application process will open on Friday 29th January 2021, and close on Friday 26th February 2021.
If you are interested in learning more about Stepping Up or have colleagues who may be interested, or would like to sponsor a participant, please join one of the virtual briefings. Click here to book a place.


Renewed calls for accommodation to help those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic

Bristol City Council is keen to hear from anyone who has a property available to let now or in the coming year. Landlords that work with the council will receive a package of support, including a rent guarantee, and will be helping to tackle homelessness at the same time.

More than 200 tenancies have been created so far this year with more landlords than ever working with the council’s in house private lettings team.  However, with the impacts of Covid 19 putting more people at risk of losing their homes, the council still needs more landlords to come forward with properties to provide long-term housing for people who are experiencing homelessness, and there has never been a better time to work with its in-house lettings team.  Click here to find out more, and please do share amongst your networks


Translated guidance on Tier 3 restrictions still available

Although Bristol has moved into Tier 2, the videos outlining the Tier 3 restrictions that came into place on 2 December are still available and can still be a useful resource as we continue to play our part in helping to keep cases down in the city. The videos are in seven different languages (English, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Bengali, Urdu and Arabic) and cover the government guidance, the importance of adhering to the rules and also information on where to find additional support.  To access the translated videos and share with your networks, please click here.


Voluntary Panel members are needed for the School Appeals Panel

Do you want to help to make a difference to the families of Bristol by making decisions on where their children go to school?

Bristol’s Independent Appeals Panel Service is now recruiting panel members to take part in school admission appeals for secondary and primary schools in Bristol. Applications close on 7 January 2021. Click here for more


Budgets Consultation

Bristol City Council is currently consulting on Council Tax options for next year (from April 2021-March 2022) and would like to hear your views. There is still one more week left to do this as the consultation closes on 28 December 2020. To have your say on Council Tax and Adult Social Care options, click here.


Lastly, we would like to wish all of our partners in Bristol a restful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year from all of us at the City Office. We look forward to continue working with you all to make Bristol a fairer, healthier, more sustainable city in 2021.