Winning the title of European Green Capital 2014 would give Bristol’s innovative and creative sectors a major boost, according to leading figures from the city’s business community.
With just a week to go before Bristol makes its case before the Green Capital judging panel, businesses are throwing their weight behind the city’s bid.
Meanwhile it emerged that the campaign has also gained the heavyweight politlcal support from deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Firms showed their support at a recent seminar hosted by law firm Clarke Willmott when they heard how they could become part of the bid both now and in 2014, contributing to the city’s success and gathering benefits for themselves.
Local Enterprise Partnership chair Colin Skellett said: “Winning the title of European Green Capital would provide an excellent platform for local businesses to market themselves on the national and international stage, and help attract new investment to the West of England.”
And Alan Bailey, chair of Low Carbon South West, the trade body for the sector, added: “We have products that require global reach being developed, innovated and made here in Bristol. The promotional benefits of Bristol winning the European Green Capital Award and its 2014 programme of events will enable our world-class innovators to create local jobs and economic growth.”
A similar event was held in Westminster earlier this week to gain support from MPs, MEPs, civil servants, policy advisers, national journalists, business representatives and European Commission officials.
Bristol has reached the finals of the European Green Capital awards twice and remains the only UK city to have been shortlisted for the title. Its case will be presented to the competition jury in Brussels next Friday alongside rival finalists Copenhagen and Frankfurt. The winner will be announced on June 29.
Chair of Bristol’s Green Capital Partnership, Professor Martin Bigg, said: “Momentum is really growing for Bristol’s campaign now. The team have been working hard to ensure our bid reflects the vision and commitment of the city and builds on what we are already achieving, in order to deliver a great green programme for 2014. This bid is for the whole city and will bring benefits to businesses, residents, community organisations and visitors, so it is right that we get as many people to support it at this stage as we can.”
Mr Clegg said in a letter to the bid campaign team: “I am writing to convey my wholehearted support for Bristol’s bid to secure the European Green Capital Award in 2014. Bristol is the first UK city to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award which I think it is a fitting tribute to the work that has been done over a number of years to promote a green and sustainability agenda across the city… The UK Government recognises the significance of the ECGA and, if Bristol is successful, would work closely with the city council in order to maximise the opportunities that this would create for Bristol and the UK.”
And Mr Miliband said: “I am sure Bristol will do Britain proud in their bid to become European Green Capital. Bristol is a beacon because of the commitment of the people in the city to protecting the environment and tackling climate change. This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the great achievements of Bristol's businesses and communities and I wish the team all the best in their bid”
Council leader Simon Cook said: “Nick Clegg backing the bid is official recognition of the green achievements Bristol has already made and the ambitious targets we’ve set ourselves for the future. We are absolutely thrilled to be getting political support at a national level. If Bristol wins the bid, we want to ensure that the UK as a whole benefits from the award.”
Bristol Business News is backing the bid. To find out more and add go to www.bristolgreencapital.org/support. So far, just over 3,000 people have pledged their support.
PUBLICATION: Bristol Business News - 9 June 2012