Bristol Brilliance | Your Gateway to Global Success

Bristol Brilliance - Bridgehead

Situated in the South West of the United Kingdom (UK) lies Bristol, a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and tech prowess. With a population of over 479,000 people [1] (June 2022) and a Gross Value Added (GVA) that surpasses the national average, Bristol stands as a beacon of economic growth and innovation.  As you contemplate expanding your business horizons into the UK market, Bristol emerges as the quintessential destination, offering a strategic foothold for your ventures to thrive.

Economic Vibrancy

Bristol is a dynamic hub for arts, music, sport, and theatre. From historic landmarks to cutting-edge galleries. Bristol City Council is committed to nurturing its cultural landscape, allocating funds to support arts and culture projects across the city. With an annual GVA growth rate of 2.2%, Bristol’s economic prowess is on an incline, presenting an enticing environment for investment and expansion.

Connectivity in the region is a key factor in companies moving to the region; commute to London in 79 minutes with multiple trains per hour, Bristol Airport flies to 110+ destinations and there’s direct access to the M4 and M5 motorways.

Infrastructure Investment

Bristol’s commitment to infrastructure is reflected in its transport strategy, aimed at improving connectivity and accessibility. With over £229 million earmarked for investment in the city’s transport network over the next five years. [2] Bristol is poised to enhance its infrastructure and accommodate the demands of a growing population. Initiatives include improving the Long Ashton and Hengrove metrobus lines, improving accessibility at railway stations and delivering two liveable neighbourhood pilot schemes.

Education and Innovation

Bristol is home to four World Class Universities. There are upwards of 28,000 graduates per year providing high-level candidates for the 46,000+ businesses based within the region. The Bristol & Bath region contributes £40 billion to the UK economy.

Bristol is home to the prestigious University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. The University of Bristol features in the UK top 10 for producing companies with numerous successful spin-off companies driving forward advancements in biotech and beyond. This includes Ziylo, a biotech company which uses tech to treat diabetes effectively (sold to Novo Nordisk in 2018 for £623m).

Paymentsense ‘innovation index’ listed Bristol as second to London as the most innovative city in the UK. 

Championing Sustainability

Bristol is actively pursuing ambitious growth plans with a keen eye on sustainability. This commitment is evident in the significant investments directed towards enhancing the city’s transport network, with a clear emphasis on sustainability principles. Bristol has set its sights on achieving net-zero status by 2030.

One notable example of this sustainability drive is Avonmouth which is poised to become a focal point for advanced manufacturing and engineering enterprises, embracing a ‘net-zero’ framework. [3]

Innovation Hub for Entrepreneurs

Bristol’s tech sector stands as a shining example of its economic dynamism. Supported by initiatives such as SETsquared and Bristol Inclusive & Sustainable Business and Enterprise Support (BrisBES). SETSquared is a world-leading business incubator that provides a wide range of highly acclaimed support programmes to help turn ideas into thriving businesses. Since launching in 2002, SETsquared has supported over 5,000 entrepreneurs, helping them raise £4.4bn investment. [4]

BrisBES is a programme designed to deliver high-quality, inclusive, and sustainable support to Bristol’s entrepreneurs and businesses. BrisBES is funded by the West of England Combined Authority and Bristol City Council and is being delivered by YTKO. The programme has received £925k from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. [5]

Support for Local Businesses

In Bristol and the surrounding region, several organisations play key roles in promoting regional development and attracting inward investment. Some of the key entities include:

SET Squared 

SETsquared is a unique enterprise partnership and a dynamic collaboration between the six leading research-led UK universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. As a world-leading business incubator, we provide a wide range of highly acclaimed support programmes to help turn ideas into thriving businesses.

Invest Bristol & Bath

Invest Bristol & Bath is a strategic collaboration between the local authorities of Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire. It focuses on attracting investment to the wider Bristol and Bath region. They support global businesses looking to invest in the area and offer bespoke advice on a number of key areas, including Property and development site solutions, international business relocation support and access to regional business support.

West of England Combined Authority (WECA) 

WECA is a regional authority responsible for strategic decision-making on issues such as transport, housing, and economic development in Bristol and the surrounding areas. It works to attract investment and supports business growth through offering skills bootcamps, employee training and grant funding.

Bristol City Council Economic Development Team 

The council’s Economic Development Team plays a vital role in promoting economic growth, supporting businesses, and attracting investment to the city. They provide assistance and guidance to businesses looking to establish or expand in Bristol.

Business West

Business West is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support and services to businesses across the West of England region, including Bristol. They offer a range of services, including networking opportunities, business advice, and support for international trade and investment.

TechSPARK

TechSPARK is a community interest company which promotes and supports the tech sector in Bristol and beyond. They offer networking events, job listings, and resources to help techs.

Success Stories

Graphcore

Graphcore was conceived in 2012 following a meeting at the Marlborough Tavern pub in Bath. They are a semiconductor business who manufacture AI and machine learning accelerators. They have raised an astonishing $460,000,000 and employ circa 150 people.

Hargreaves Lansdown 

A FTSE-listed financial services company headquartered in Bristol and employing over 2,000 people. It is one of the UK’s largest retail investment platforms, providing investment management services, pension planning and financial advice.

Immersive Labs

Immersive Labs is a cyber skills on-demand platform that encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and curiosity. They have raised over $48,018,243 in funding. They employ over 300 people across the UK, US and EMEA, with hubs in Bristol, UK and Boston, MA.

Why choose Bristol?

As Bristol continues its journey towards sustainability and growth, it remains steadfast in its commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and opportunity. From ambitious plans for industrial development to initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, Bristol invites investors and innovators alike to be part of its story. With a thriving ecosystem of talent, resources, and support, Bristol stands ready to welcome the next wave of pioneers.

 

References:

[1] https://www.bristol.gov.uk/council-and-mayor/statistics-census-information/population-of-bristol

[2] https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/multi-million-pound-investment-in-bristol-transport/

[3] https://www.bristolandbath.co.uk/infrastructure-key-developments/bristol/

[4] https://www.setsquared.co.uk/about-us/

[5] https://westofengland.ytko.com/brisbes/