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Bristol announced as European Green Capital for 2015

The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

Press release issued: 14 June 2013

Bristol is celebrating after it was revealed as the winner of a hotly contested international competition to be European Green Capital in 2015. The announcement was made tonight [14 June] at a ceremony in Nantes, France, the city which holds the current title.

The announcement was made tonight [14 June] at a ceremony in Nantes, France, the city which holds the current title.

Bristol beat rivals Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana – the capital of Slovenia – in a tightly fought contest. Its bid was led by the Green Capital Partnership, of which the University of Bristol is a member.

Winning the award will have untold benefits for the city, its residents and also for the University in terms of encouraging green businesses to move to the area, the creation of new jobs and improving the general quality of life.

The European Green Capital Award was set up in 2008 to reward cities that consistently achieve high environmental standards and are committed to further environmental improvement and sustainable development. The winning city must act as a role model and demonstrate a vision for the future that will inspire other cities to take similar action.

It is just a title but the prestige alone could help generate up to 1,000 jobs and £1million of investment through media coverage, according to Bristol City Council which has looked at past winners.

The Cabot Institute, a multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Bristol focusing on all aspects of global environmental change, is part of the steering group and is playing a big part in the city’s ‘green knowledge economy’.

Philippa Bayley, Manager of the Cabot Institute, said: “To be the first UK city to be named European Green Capital is a fantastic achievement for Bristol. It’s testament to many organisations working together with the public to help promote green ideas and the enjoyment of our natural spaces and resources.

“Thanks to working alongside the Green Capital Partnership, we’ve been able to foster new research and industrial relationships, which have in turn enabled student placements with local green organisations. All of this has formed part of Bristol's bid to become the 2015 European Green Capital, and we’re delighted it has been successful.”

On receiving the award in Nantes, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said: “This demonstrates Bristol’s ambition to be a pioneering green city and is recognition for the many years of hard work and dedication by the city council, businesses and the people of Bristol to make our city more environmentally friendly.

“We will now be turning our attention to staging an inspiring programme of events in 2015 which will be centred around the idea of Bristol as a ‘Laboratory for Change’. I have offered Bristol as a test-bed for environmental ideas in 2015, where we will develop pioneering practices which will not only benefit Bristol, but will hopefully become a model for cities around the world.”

The announcement coincides with the Bristol Festival of Nature, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and runs all weekend [15 to 16 June] at Bristol’s Harbourside with a host of new exhibitors and activities to entertain the whole family.

This weekend also sees the start of Bristol’s BIG Green Week - the UK’s festival of eco ideas, art and entertainment which runs until 23 June and looks set to attract over 40,000 visitors.

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