Startup Advice

Starting a business in Bristol

Charlotte Harwood

It has it all: a vibrant city centre, rolling countryside and ample support for start-ups

A vibrant city centre, historic harbour, rolling countryside as far as the eye can see – Bristol has it all.

Set amongst the scenery of the West Country, Bristol is a city that gives you the best of both worlds. And in recent years it’s added to its list of impressive credentials by earning the accolade of European Green Capital for 2015, awarded for its active and innovative efforts to create a more sustainable, healthy environment.

A truly Smart City

In fact, Bristol Council is going even further by investing £400m into the city’s transport infrastructure in a bid to reduce energy usage with its Smart City programme. Launched in 2011, Smart City focuses on making Bristol more digitally connected by implementing socially and economically sustainable technologies like electric vehicles and open data.

Making the most of its coastal location, Bristol’s Royal Portbury Dock is one of the UK’s busiest ports and reaches over 45 million people within a 300km radius. As such, the port has become a major pull to businesses looking to access the international market. Royal Portbury Dock boasts the most economical port distribution location in the whole of the UK, and is able to handle everything from heavy cargo to cruise ships and even fresh produce.

Plenty of support for start-ups

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership is on a mission to attract new businesses to Bristol, and in recent years it was awarded £86m to help towards this initiative. Small businesses that are new to the area can access support through the Local Enterprise Partnership, which has plenty of established links to local organisations and a range of business knowhow to help you along the way.

It’s also reassuring to know that Bristol has a high success rate when it comes to small businesses and start-ups. Survival rates for the period 2009-2012 were a positive 60.6%, reflecting the high level of support on offer for entrepreneurs starting up and going strong in the area.

Silicon Gorge

Bristol benefits from its location on the M4 corridor, putting it in prime position for easy and direct access to London via the M4 motorway. It’s a major tech hub and is home to a number of technology and creative companies, including Toshiba and Intel, and has since adopted the name of Silicon Gorge, part of the wider Silicon Valley that is the M4 corridor.

Get in touch

If you are looking for business broadband or phone line in Bristol, call free on 0808 256 6968.