Funding awarded for innovative ideas

Sun 5 January 2020, 4:53 pm

Bristol has been awarded £85,000 (€100,000) by the European Commission after being shortlisted for the title of European City of Innovation 2019.

The city entered the contest which looks for examples around the continent when innovative solutions are being used to solve pressing challenges.

Bristol heralded its "One City" approach to join up local governance, linking public, private, voluntary and third sector partners for the shared aim of making Bristol a fair, healthy and sustainable city.

The French city of Nantes came out as the winner, but Bristol impressed the judges with ideas including the Bristol Housing Festival, a five-year programme showcasing housing innovation and facilitating conversations about the future of urban housing and communities.

Other highlights are the City Funds, a pioneering funding model to attract a wide range of funding and target towards city priorities in a strategic way, the City Leadership Programme to invest in the lives of high ability, high aspiration teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds, and Looking After Bristol, a project to recruit 70 foster carers.

Bristol also showcased its work in ensuring everyone has access to sanitary products and to drive a more mature conversation about period dignity, and put on a conference to tackle race inequality and the launch of Bristol Equality Charter.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: "One City is already taking great strides forward in delivering a step change across leadership, governance and citizen participation. We know where we want to be in 2050, but our path to reaching those goals is evolving all the time as we test a whole system approach which everyone in Bristol will benefit from.

"The One City Plan pulls the city together to agree the city we want to be in 2050 and what we need to deliver - as a city - every year to get us there. 

“One City is being acknowledged as world-class by an increasing number of cities around the world and the iCapital recognition continues to evidence that. This award provides the opportunity to share the One City approach with, and learn from, other European cities about their innovation activities.”

The One City Plan was published in January last year (2019), in a collaboration between partners to set ambitious city-wide targets up to 2050.

James Durie, chief executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative at Business West and one of the One City partners, said: “The city is pulling together in a way that it has never done before. The One City approach is bringing together all sorts of organisations to take a lead in creating a stronger set of communities and economy. Whilst we are a city built on working in partnership this has enabled us to step up to another level.

“The success and recognition of securing this 100,000 Euro award is fantastic news and will make a significant difference to us making further progress, and we now look forward to the final announcement at the end of the month.”