Our Initiative story

Today, we continue to bring together South West business leaders to ensure our region thrives, is economically sound, attractive to talent and socially inclusive.

The Initiative 

‘The Initiative’ was founded in Bristol by a group of forward thinking business leaders almost thirty years ago at a time when UK cities, including Bristol, were in turmoil.  It was clear from the beginning that the goal of reversing the cycle of economic and social decline could only be achieved in partnership with councils and other bodies – engaging with them and influencing how to make  the Greater Bristol region the best place to live and work for everyone.

Have our efforts been fruitful?

We have been the driving force behind many successful regeneration projects including the redevelopment of the city harbour, transforming it from an underused and run-down port, into a thriving area for business, for socialising and for living. We were instrumental in the creation of Cabot Circus, a modern retail centre that brings business and shoppers together under one awe-inspiring roof. We have also been involved in the transformation of the area around Temple Meads railway station. Our vision is to create an economic enterprise zone capable of attracting and retaining world-class businesses as well as launching and sustaining exciting new start-ups.

In 2002 an Initiative in Bath & North East Somerset was formed, working closely with the Bristol Initiative, for the overall good of the West of England area. Their successes can be found on the West of England website.

This successful strategic business leadership approach for Bristol and Bath was extended to Swindon & Wiltshire in 2009.  More details can be found on the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative pages.

Today, we continue to bring together South West business leaders to ensure our region thrives, is economically sound, attractive to talent and socially inclusive. The outcome of our work is the creation of a region that meets and exceeds the needs of business today, and in the future.

The South West has a strong economy but its growth should not be left to those working in government alone. As business leaders our vision is to understand the requirement for the future so we can shape and create a place where people want to live and businesses can thrive.  

We welcome individuals and organisations that are ready to co-create the region of the future with us. Become a member and further yourself and your business. Join our group of 350 business leaders who are passionate about making the West of England (Greater Bristol and Bath) and Swindon & Wiltshire a region that attracts the best talent, enjoys economic prosperity and encourages social inclusion. 

  • Get the most from Business West

    • Receive our newsletter
    • Access white papers & case studies
    • Join the conversation on our blog
  • Interested in shaping local policy decisions?

    Join the initiative and join a group of business leaders who want to make a positive influence in your area. 

  • Did you know, in 2016 we helped over 850 businesses start-up and grow