Former Bristol record shop owner Eddie Ayers explains why the thriving city of Bristol became one of the most innovative places in the world:
“The city has a great vibe, it’s got a great sense of community and people here like what they do. It’s probably quite similar to the hip-hop scene in New York. It was a revolution.”
Bristol has a lot to offer when you stay in luxury serviced apartments
And Bristol’s hip-hop revolution – bringing together disparate communities to innovate in technology and music – is one of the reasons the city is included in the Guardian’s 25 Best Cities to Do Business in 2016.
Despite being the largest city in the south west, Bristol has a low cost of living. The average house price in Bristol in 2016 was £212,000 – similar to the average house price in the City of London.
Bristol’s parks, cycleways, green spaces and private and public transport means the city offers all the benefits of a city without the crippling expense.
Bristol is easy to walk or bike around, offering the fastest commute to London and access to the high speed line for Crossrail.
Bristol is also home to the Bristol Marathon, the largest marathon in the UK, as well as a number of festivals, night clubs and music clubs – all within a short walk of the city centre.
In Bristol, history and culture are constantly evolving – creating an environment for businesses like Bristol Sound Lab and Brighton Dance Centre to thrive.
“When it comes to cultural cities, Bristol is in a league of its own,” says comedian Tom Watt.
In 2016, Bristol was named the best city in England for young professionals to live, work and play.
Bristol also provides an excellent community for technology start-ups – particularly in areas like Fort Pitt, where London based Pluribus Networks opened its first global innovation hub.
Fort Pitt and the adjoining Bristol Centre for Digital Arts are also home to the Bristol Film Festival, Bristol Pride Festival and the Bristol Comic Con.
Bristol’s innovative businesses and creative industries are also providing work and employment opportunities for the wider region – employing thousands of local residents across industries such as gaming, TV and film.
“Bristol’s support for tech businesses and creative industries is an inspiration to local entrepreneurs,” says Paul Wilkinson, Director at Bristol Digital City Ltd.
Bristol now has over 400 companies that are growing and have earned over £1bn in investment.
Bristol has the lowest office vacancy rate of any city in the UK – standing at 0.28%.
And despite the success of these businesses, there is still room for innovation and growth in Bristol.
“There is so much untapped potential in Bristol,” says Eddie Ayers. “The growth of technology means it’s easier than ever to work remotely – we hope to use that to inspire and encourage people.”
Some distinct areas of the Greater Bristol, like Clifton, offer the upmarket suburban life some young professionals desire, with accommodations such as luxury serviced apartments making for a great way to experience what life would be like following a permanent move to this part of the world.