A booming eco startup scene is fast strengthening Bristol’s credentials as a green city. Socially and environmentally conscious startups, focused on sustainability and engaged with local communities, are becoming an increasingly common feature of Bristol’s business landscape.
City’s infrastructure acts as fertile ground
The availability of Bristol office space and price are other factors, given the prohibitive prices in London, where startups in the tech and financial sectors have tended to congregate. It’s an occupational hazard that businesses in the environmental and sustainability sectors operate with narrow bottom lines. Given that the average cost of Bristol office space is less than half the London average, it makes sense for eco-businesses to find a home here.
Bristol’s big players are promoting an eco agenda
Green innovations in the city are supported by a particularly powerful network of people and businesses who share the same values. Bristol has quite a high presence of marketing, social media and digital executives.
Bristol City Council is particularly invested too. Around £11 million was secured in funding from government and commercial sponsors, split across a number of projects to promote sustainability among local businesses and schools. With investment from big industry names like KPMG, construction firm Skanska and travel company First Group, the imperative has some real clout.
Bristol is a hub for businesses in all sectors
Despite the strength of business in Bristol’s eco sector, it’s not just environmentally-minded businesses that thrive in the area. In fact, Bristol is fast chasing London as a hub for startups in all sectors, from art and creative industries to science, engineering and tech.
Vinnie Morgan is the owner of tech company Booking Live, formerly located in Middlesbrough. In 2009, Morgan packed up the tools of his trade, loaded into a van with his two employees at the time, and moved his whole organisation to Bristol. “I’d never been to Bristol in my life, but… [it] came out top on every single column”, Morgan says; only when they arrived did the team begin their search for a Bristol office space, and found a welcome home.
Seven and a half years later, Booking Live is at the heart of one of the UK’s most productive tech clusters. With a high-speed railway connecting Bristol with London Paddington in 78 minutes due to go live next year, many are predicting an influx of both business and talent in the coming years. Continued business growth looks like a certainty in this exciting city, but hopefully not at the expense of its inspiring commitment to social and environmental sustainability.