Bristol Chamber & Initiative issues its ‘business challenge’ to candidates vying for City Hall

Kye Parkin
Communications Executive | Business West
19th April 2021

As the race for City Hall hots up, Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative at Business West has issued its ‘business challenge’ to candidates, ensuring that the voice of local business remains central to the election campaign.

The manifesto - released today (19 April) - identifies 8 key ‘challenges’ that the incoming Mayor of Bristol needs to address to spur our economic recovery from COVID-19 and facilitate long-term sustainable and inclusive business growth in the city.

Following extensive consultation with Bristol’s business communities, the manifesto calls on the Mayor to take bold action on issues such as the climate crisis, the lack of affordable housing and transforming transport and digital connectivity over the next 4 years. Moreover, it urges the successful candidate to continue to work in partnership with the city’s businesses and communities to develop joined up solutions to shared problems.

Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative at Business West James Durie comments:

“Those of us who live and work here know that Bristol is special. A city whose people are innovative, creative, energetic, ambitious but also unorthodox. We went into the COVID-19 crisis in an economically strong position, having performed well on many measures of business and economic health over the last decades. Bristolians are resilient and adaptable, but this last year has tested and challenged them like no other.

“People and businesses choose our city because it is a great place to live, work and visit. But we are also a city scarred by deep inequalities. Too many of our citizens are excluded from participating in the wealth our city creates, and disparities in health, education and housing damage lives and damages the shared prosperity of the city. The importance of social cohesion cannot be overstated, nor can the reputational damage for the whole city where disorder is seen in national and international media coverage. We urge the successful Mayoral candidate, working closely with the police and city partners, to ensure protests remain peaceful and the safety of residents and visitors to our city is secured.

“The 2021 Mayoral election will set the city’s objectives for the next four years when we face very significant challenges that have shifted priorities at a local and national level. Strong engagement and working with the business community is vital to enable the private sector to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth, which will benefit the whole community and begin to de-carbonise how we live and work.

“The elected Mayor of Bristol is a key position within the city, and we need the candidate elected to work with business to help it address the challenge it faces. Mayoral candidates will need to set out their long-term vision of the future of the city and how they will champion it, both within the UK and overseas.

“We look forward to working with whoever is elected to continue to strongly support the region’s enterprising firms as we recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

To view the manifesto in full visit:

Do you want to join the conversation?

Sign up here
  • An Elected Mayor for Bristol - A Business Challenge to Candidates

  • The West of England Initiative

    Provides an effective link between private and public sectors to ensure the interests of commerce are considered in key decision making.