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August 2015


Banksy-mania hitsNorth Somerset
The world’s press has descended on Weston-super-Mare as the Tropicana hosts a six week exhibition named Dismaland, a dark take on theme parks with a nod to Disneyland, featuring work by more than 50 artists including Bristolian Banksy. The ‘bemusement’ park is expected to attract up to 4,000 visitors each day with people camping overnight and booking tickets from as far afield as Germany, New York and Singapore. Love Weston, set up jointly with the Council two years ago to promote the area, has been inundated with calls and it is thought the exhibition could bring as much as £7m into the local economy. more

Trade Minister praises West of England’s strength in attracting inward investment
Lord Francis Maude, Trade and Investment minister, recently met with representatives from Invest Bristol & Bath, Business West and Rolls-Royce to learn more about the West of England’s ambitions to attract more inward investment and boost exports. Barbara Davies, WE LEP said “Lord Maude’s visit illustrated the Government’s continued focus on the region, an area it recognises as a major contributor to UK plc”. more

Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone reaches 2,000 job milestone
James Wharton, Communities and Local Government minister visited BTQEZ to announce the landmark job figure of attracting 2,000 jobs in just over 3 years. During his visit Mr Wharton was shown the new bridge that will connect Arena Island with the rest of the enterprise zone, saying “ investment and innovation are at the heart of the Enterprise Zones and this bridge is a testament to what can be achieved when the public and private sector work together to support businesses and create jobs”. more

West of England Growth Fund (WEGF) pays out over £15m
The WEGF has paid out in excess of £15m to 300 SME’s to support growth and job creation.  One beneficiary, Mendip Media is celebrating 10 years of “raw talent and creativity” by up-scaling their operation and using the funds to support the build of an 800 sq ft filming and photography facility in South Bristol. 

Pukka Herbs, another recipient, said “We wanted the opportunity to secure job role growth in Bristol and build on our sustainability agenda, whilst creating an inspirational workspace for all our Pukka People. The fund has helped us secure new premises which fulfil these ambitions and enable us to play an increasingly active role in the local community.”



Strong hiring intentions and economic growth predicted for South West
More than two thirds (68%) of SMEs in the South West plan to take on new employees in the next 12 months, more than any other UK region, according to a new HSBC Commercial Banking survey. more

British Living, a report compiled by CBRE, shows the South West’s economy is expected to grow by 27% over the next decade with billions of pounds of investment expected. more

University of Bath launch first commercial motion capture studio in South West
Motion capture technology used in the entertainment industry to animate non-human characters, will now be used to help improve prosthetic limbs for amputees and training of elite athletes via a new research centre based at the University of Bath.

The centre is part of a £23m investment in digital economy research announced in the 2015 budget – the University is collaborating with a number of partners including the West of England LEP. more

Meanwhile, a prototype 3D-printed robotic hand that can be made faster and more cheaply than current alternatives, is this year's UK winner of the James Dyson Award. Joel Gibbard, began work on the Open Bionics robotic hand in his bedroom in Bristol and was supported by Bristol Robotics Laboratory. more

Ports future secured as £10m land sale completes
Bristol City Council and The Bristol Port Company have welcomed the completion of the sale of the freehold covering much of the land the Port currently occupies for £10m. The move enables Bristol Port to compete and invest on equal terms with other UK ports.  The Port was privatised in 1991 and now provides employment for more than 10,000 people. more

National award for Filwood Green Business Park
Filwood Green Business Park, the lead project in the regeneration of South Bristol, has received the prestigious New Building of the Year award at the 2Degrees Network Champions Awards. Crucial to the park’s success has been its commitment to working towards closing the performance gap with a target of reducing 40% in CO2, saving the equivalent annual emissions of 276 double decker buses. more

Bristol top for Property deals
Two of the three biggest office investment deals in the UK during the second quarter of the year took place in Bristol, according to Knight Frank.  The purchase of Templeback by Orchard Street Investment Management in June for £58.5m was the UK’s largest.  Aviva Investors’ acquisition of 66 Queens Square for £32.7m was the third. more



Local businesses set to benefit from Hinkley announcement
EDF Energy has confirmed the preferred bidders to work on the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in North Somerset. Contracts worth billions of pounds have been allocated and include North Somerset consortium HOST who will be providing services such as catering at the construction site, bussing the workforce and accommodation management. Gleeds property and construction consultancy have vowed to create 100 additional jobs in Bristol after being named as a supplier. more

The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has announced a new initiative, Nuclear South West, set up by Business West and Davies Nuclear Associates to support both existing and aspiring nuclear sector businesses in the South West and help grow the region as a world class nuclear supply chain. more

ALD Automotive heads out of town to new Emerson Green HQ
ALD Automotive, a vehicle leasing business, has confirmed its plans to relocate the company to South Gloucestershire at the Vertex Park in Emerson Green. The new purpose built £12m office development will give the company much needed space for further recruitment and planned expansion. more

Cyber security - apply now for business funding
Innovate UK is offering businesses vouchers worth £5K to pay for an external expert to help them with their cyber security including protecting business ideas and intellectual property.  The programme also provides organisations with an accreditation to show that they have taken precautions, something that may be needed for suppliers bidding for a government contract. more

Pelipod sets up home in Bristol to spur further growth
Smart parcel delivery box company Pelipod has relocated from London to Bristol and become a member of the SETsquared business incubation programme. Founded in 2013, Pelipod has created a secure, unattended parcel box that uses machine to machine communications to transmit secure codes for users. more

Neighbourly appointed by M&S for nationwide campaign
Marks & Spencer has appointed Neighbourly, the innovative internet platform to support its trailblazing Spark Something Good campaign. All stores will use Neighbourly’s website to select, manage and promote their fundraising activities with their local community causes of choice. The business recently raised more than £1m from angel investors in its latest funding round allowing them to strengthen their leadership and engineering teams. more

Green.TV moves to the European Green Capital
Green.TV, the world’s first production and distribution house dedicated to the sustainability, conservation and the clean tech sector has opened a new office in Bristol. The global digital video network aims to position itself as the ‘Netflix for green content’. Bristol was chosen because of its status as European Green Capital and its creative digital focus. more



First Primary School receives the West of England Employability Chartermark (ECM)
The ECM is awarded to educational establishments in recognition of their commitment to, investment in and delivery of work-readiness in young people in partnership with businesses. Across the West of England an additional 7 secondary schools have now successfully achieved the ECM, bringing the total number to 30.  Alongside the secondary schools, Kings Forest Primary School, based in South Gloucestershire, also achieved the first Primary Employability Chartermark. more

GKN Aerospace chooses Weston College for training
Following a competitive selection process, Weston College is to launch a flagship apprenticeship programme after being selected as a training provider for GKN Aerospace. The college has invested £1.5m in a bespoke training centre offering a full engineering and manufacturing curriculum which uniquely includes advance composites. more

UWE Bower Ashton Campus redevelopment approved
Links between Bristol’s creative sector and UWE will be strengthened by the large scale redevelopment of its Bower Ashton campus near Ashton Court. The university said that Bristol’s reputation as a creative hub is attracting record numbers of applicants who are keen to make the most of the opportunities available. more

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