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Building a Better Bristol (BBB) - the challenge


So what’s the Building a Better Bristol idea?


The Public Good of the 21st Century will be defined by the quality and breadth of investment as much as the vision and drive of our social entrepreneurs.  Bristol City Council are looking at innovative ways of financing future developments, service provision and support to our community.

The challenge

Bristol and the West of England have a track record of economic growth and innovation: we have a huge range of talent to build on and connect up within our region and with the wider world.  However, at a local and national level entrepreneurial individuals and initiatives (in the private and public realms, groups, organisations and businesses) are often unable to unlock the investment they need to strengthen and grow a competitive and sustainable local economy.

Local government’s future will be different and far more about enabling.  Recognising that as tax funded budgets are constrained, as a community we need to look at innovative ways of financing future developments, service provision and support to our community etc, for the ‘Public Good’.
Can Local Government support ‘the platform’ that enables investment to be made locally? How can we take advantage of Bristol's capacity, unique qualities and the wider opportunities to move Bristol forward?

Bristol City Council is currently working with and being supported through NESTA’s (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) Creative Council programme to explore how we help the citizens of Bristol have a real stake in the future of the city, thereby re-imagining the role of Local government.

So what’s the BBB idea?

Bristol City Council is exploring the creation of new mechanisms to develop investment finance with the local community, turning citizens, employees and institutions into genuine stakeholders, for the long run.  We aim to build on cash and assets that the variety of city’s individuals and organisations can offer and match, maximising social and economic impact and value.

Developing on the opportunities presented by tools such as Community Land Trusts, Special Purpose Vehicles and Community Interest Companies, by working with people inside and outside the council (bringing in ideas and expertise from around the world) a small multidisciplinary team will draft prototypes of potential investment products, and obtain an overview of delivery and governance models.

The prototypes will cover a range of local personal and institutional investment and delivery options eg:

· Low risk facilitation or direct provision of peer to peer lending – equity or debt investment for enterprise growth

· Investment for significant changes in public services (such as learning infrastructure or transport)

· A stake in infrastructure that will benefit the residential and economic community over the long term (such as low carbon energy or broadband)

· Co-finance with other social, commercial or public investment partners, internal or external

Over the next three months we will be drafting and refining these prototypes and proposals for the organisational model that could sit behind this work.


How can you help us?

What would be your considerations as a potential investor, client, citizen?
How could such finance help your field of activity?
Do you know of any similar working models?
Can you recommend anyone we should talk with?

We are refining the challenge in the light of your responses.  We look forward to hearing your ideas. 


Please and we will discuss with you the best way to explore ideas further.
More information will be made available as the project moves forward.

Thank you.


The Building a Better Bristol Project Team


The Core Project Team:

Carol Quaye – Project Co-ordination
Rob Brown  - Linkages Broker
Ted Fowler – Economic Development
Deborah Kinghorn - Policy
Suzanne Ogborne – Project Support


And you: this project is what we make of it!