February 2018: News From The Mayor

January 26 2018

This month I want to look back at 2017’s European City of Sport title, update on some current work and look forward to the year ahead.

Our year as City of Sport

 This month I want to look back at 2017’s European City of Sport title, update on some current work and look forward to the year ahead.

Our year as European City of Sport may be over, but now we have a great platform to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and opportunities for everyone to participate. 

During the summer our Are You Game? campaign saw over 80 sporting organisations offering free taster sessions for more than 200 different activities and sports.

Working with Junior Parkrun we also launched our Bristol 2k challenge with children collectively running over 2,500km throughout November. We also set up new artificial cricket wickets in parks, promoted new Bristol Girls Can ambassadors and saw hundreds sign up to beginners running courses. 

While many of us do take part in sport and physical activity there are still many who do not and this is proven to have an effect on the health of our city. Thanks to new funding from Sport England we will be taking more steps to engage areas that we know are less likely to be active this year.

The new website – bristolactivecity.org – will continue the legacy, helping to make Bristol a city where everyone can be active.

During the final cabinet meeting of 2017 I committed to supporting music venues. I tasked cabinet member Cllr Nicola Beech with introducing the ‘agent of change’ principle to our Local Plan, which guides development in the city. This means that developers have to consider pre-existing businesses, like music venues, in an area before moving forward with a project. Developers would be responsible for installing soundproofing to solve potential issues like noise complaints.

I am pleased that the Government will also incorporate the ‘agent of change’ principle into national legislation.

I want us all to be able to watch the best performances and events around. From leading bands to world class sport events, Bristol must be a go-to city that’s “on the tour”. This brings me to the arena project. My January cabinet meeting received a progress report confirming the Brabazon hangar at Filton as a possible location. We have to know whether the proposals are value for money.  These need to be assessed against alternate locations, alternative uses of the site and the benefit on the wider economy.  

I am 100 per cent committed to delivering an arena for Bristol and I want to be sure we are fully informed on all the options, at a cost the city can afford.  We are therefore pressing ahead with further detailed examination of the two most viable options. Cabinet will receive an update again in April.