Our story

For almost 40 years, the Bristol & West of England Initiative has played a role, whether large or small, in inspiring and delivering a series of successes throughout our region, each time working in partnership with a range of other organisations.

During the early 1980s, towns and cities throughout the UK were in crisis; recession had damaged the UK economy and cities were the first to feel its effects. Economic decline caused unemployment levels to rise resulting in the eruption of riots throughout UK cities. Realising the need to find a solution, the CBI in 1988 published a significant report on business and urban regeneration.

It was in 1989 that a group of 12 visionary Bristol business leaders responded to civil unrest, forming the Initiative, and set to work on addressing the social and economic issues of our city. Today, over 160 business leaders are engaged with developing a shared vision. A vision to create a successful place for people to live, work and invest in for all our communities.

More recently in 2011, the Initiative published 2050: High in Hope – A Business Vision for the West of England City Region, recognising the need for a long term vision for the region. The 2050 vision is the Initiative’s framework and sets out our beliefs, values and goals for the region, you can view our vision below.