New collective aim now under development to renew and reimagine Bristol

Bristol’s One City partners agreed a bold new economic Statement of Intent at a City Gathering event today (Friday 26 June). It sets out a collective aim to renew and reimagine Bristol as a fairer, healthier, and even more inclusive and sustainable city; signalling what is to come from a fuller One City Economic Recovery Strategy which is being led by the One City Economy Board.

More than 300 business, public and voluntary sector leaders gathered virtually to reflect on what’s next for the city and to choose updated priorities in order to support the city’s recovery from the pandemic. This event was the sixth City Gathering with organisations across the city coming together to discuss common problems, and the coronavirus pandemic unsurprisingly dominated conversations.

Over the past 12 weeks the city’s Economy Board and City Office have been engaging thousands of people in meetings and webinars about the challenges and opportunities of the ‘recovery’ from Covid-19; starting to inform the city’s long term economic recovery plan. The Statement of Intent is a first step in this process, setting out the Board’s intentions to make sure that the city will not simply return to all of its old ways, but will instead build on Bristol’s amazing strengths and tackle its deep-rooted inequalities to create a new economy. This new economy will include everyone in the city’s success, build resilience and tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.

The One City partners share a common mission with regard to Bristol’s recovery and renewal: to create a fairer, healthier and even more inclusive and sustainable city.

The One City partners are committed to working hand-in-hand with wider recovery plans, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and with regional and pan-regional partners to make sure that its plans are comprehensive, joined-up and do the best by all of our people. With shrewd government and private investment, partners believe that Bristol has an opportunity to be Europe’s exemplar city for economic inclusion and sustainability. To do this requires rethinking how it addresses the systemic injustices that exist in our city systems and rethink how we can meet the ambitious targets needed to respond to climate change.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, said:
”I am delighted to have such a wealth of contributions from such a vast array of willing partners on how we can achieve our shared vision of a city of hope and aspiration here in Bristol. We are drawing together expertise from our communities, the private sector, academics, the voluntary and social enterprise sectors, the public sector and wider-reaching national and international networks too: together making a full economic renewal plan for Bristol. After the pandemic we face an enormous challenge but together we can reimagine Bristol as a fairer, healthier and even more inclusive and sustainable place than it was before.”

James Durie, Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, and Co-Chair of Bristol’s Economy Board, said:
“We are stronger together and this statement helps all partners to start to reimagine Bristol for the better. Whether it’s rebuilding a prosperous and inclusive economy; increasing skills and education; creating safe and healthy communities or delivering effective transport and environmental solutions this Statement of Intent sets out Bristol’s commitment to shake up the status-quo and rebuild our economy to be commercially successful but in a much fairer way than ever before.”

“We shouldn’t underestimate the power of having so many partners all working together towards a singular vision. This is like gold-dust in city planning terms and is a strength Bristol has taken time and effort to cultivate. Bristol has long recognised and adopted a partnership model and more than ever this is needed to meet the challenges we will face going forward. Many cities around the world are now desperately trying to replicate or invent their own versions of this, whilst Bristol has made a real head-start.”

The Statement of Intent is the first step on Bristol’s path to economic recovery, and has been prepared in partnership across the city and with regional representation from the West of England Combined Authority to ensure its alignment with emerging regional recovery planning.

For the full version of the statement of intent see:

One City Economic Recovery Statement of Intent