Bristol is a Partner City in the Centre for Cities research programme ‘Unlocking City Potential and Sustaining City Growth’. The programme works closely with a small group of cities to inform economic development strategies and improve economic performance.
In agreement with Bristol City Council, this report sets out policy analysis and recommendations to help Bristol achieve inclusive growth, with a focus on two principal questions:
- How can the creation of mixed communities regenerate deprived areas, and what role does the community itself need to play?
- How can Bristol’s worklessness and skills policy ensure that, when the upturn comes, Bristol’s most deprived communities are included?
The analysis and recommendations are particularly applicable to the regeneration of South Bristol, but will have relevance to other deprived parts of the city.
- Bristol City Council and the West of England Partnership should use the period of recession to set plans for mixed communities within an economic framework that links housing provisionto wider economic objectives. This framework will need to consider the phasing, as well as the mix, of housing and employment growth. Immediate priorities should include site assembly, infrastructure provision, and purchasing reduced price land and housing stock – to ensure that when the upturn comes, swift progress can be made.
- In the recession, the West of England Partnership should plan ahead for the skill needs of businesses likely to be attracted into the new growth point, to ensure future employment opportunities are created. The Employment and Skills Board should commission a long-term skills need assessment, with a focus on South Bristol.
- As macro-economic conditions improve, from 2010 at the earliest, West at Work should extend local employment initiatives to address the wider barriers workless communities face. Third sector providers, including housing associations, should be used to link communities in South Bristol to employment opportunities that will be created on key development sites.