Bristol's economy is set to boom says think tank

09-October-2013 9:49
in General
by Ian Onions, political editor, The Bristol Post

Bristol's economy is set to boom, according to a report by one of the world’s most influential think tanks. And a conference in the city next week will examine the reasons why.

The report, by the Capital Economics organisation, says Bristol is already one of the best performing cities in the country in terms of wealth, employment and availability of housing.

According to the study, the number of people in work in the area is set to increase from 234,000 to 266,000 over the next eight years.

The high concentration of specialist technology firms and the legacy of the aviation industry have meant that the city is blessed with a highly skilled and educated workforce.

And the number of people in work in the area is set to increase from 234,000 to 266,000 during the next eight years. But most importantly of all, Bristol is said to be one of the best-placed cities to take advantage when the country finally emerges from recession.

How this will be achieved will be discussed at the Bristol’s Bright Future conference which will be held in the city on Tuesday.

Paul Wilson, chief executive of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, will explain why Bristol is so well-placed to thrive. The conference will also highlight some of the key sectors and projects contributing to the region’s success.

Bonnie Dean, chief executive of the Bristol and Bath Science Park, will look at the science and technology sector.

The South West region currently supports seven out of the eight great technologies as identified by Universities and Sciences Minister David Willetts, which are essential in order to propel Britain to future growth.

Nick Sturge, Director of SETsquared and the Engine Shed will talk about high-tech growth. The Engine Shed will be a showcase for the region’s creativity, innovation and engineering excellence whilst SETsquared supports the growth and success of new high-growth knowledge based business.

Paul Appleby, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership Creative Sector Group will discuss the creative sector, how it’s growing nationally and the particular strengths of Bristol. He will also expand on the opportunities in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. especially for micro businesses and young people.

Louise Stewart, director of strategy and development from Visit England, will discuss the importance of tourism to economic growth through inward investment, image, perception and export value.

She will also talk about the positive impact Bristol tourism will have on the quality of life for local people, potential employees and graduate retention for the coming decade.

A further example of how Bristol will take to the global tourism stage will be explained through a project update given by Nick Hounsfield and Tobin Coles, co-directors and founders of The Wave UK, the world’s first inland surfing lake due to start development next year.

Finally Ned Cussen, consultant for Jones Lang LaSalle will unveil a four-point plan that will boost economic success.

To register for the Bristol’s  Bright Future event, visit

The event is being sponsored by BNP Paribas Real Estate and Business Showcase 2014.

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