New Destination Bristol good for Cabot Circus and Broadmead
Bristol will be promoted as a leisure and business destination across Britain and abroad, following the merger of two organisations in the city.
The Broadmead Board – the catalyst for the regeneration of the centre of Bristol – is merging with Destination Bristol, which was launched in 1999 to boost the number of visitors to the city.
The new organisation will operate under the Destination Bristol banner and will take the lead role in marketing the city as a business and leisure destination.
It will continue the management and marketing of the Broadmead shopping centre, while developing new partnerships with the city council, businesses and other agencies, to improve the way in which the city is promoted.
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The work of the new partnership will be overseen by a team of directors drawn from the existing two boards.
Joint chairperson and leader of Bristol City Council, Councillor Helen Holland said: "This merger is an exciting development.
"Together, we have had tremendous success in recent years working to deliver ambitious projects that have transformed the city's economic fortunes and created thousands of new jobs.
"We all recognise that we face some challenging times and we need to build on this work, to ensure that this progress is maintained.
"We have created a single organisation that will be able to pool resources and capitalise on the opportunities presented by Cabot Circus.
"The new organisation's priorities are to sustain support to the continued growth in Bristol's economic pros- pects by creating employment, ensuring training courses target those who will most benefit from these jobs, and building on our green credentials.
"While the focus of the new Destination Bristol will predominately be on the central areas of the city, we are determined to ensure that the benefits that regeneration of the city centre produce are felt throughout all the communities of Bristol."
The news of the merger follows the announcement that businesses in Broadmead have voted to support the development of a five-year "business improvement district" focused on the main shopping area.
Broadmead manager John Hirst who will join Destination Bristol as Operations Director, said: "Broadmead Board was set up 15 years ago to respond to the challenge presented by the growth in out of town shopping centres.
"We recognised that the Broadmead that existed then didn't meet the expectations of either shoppers or retailers and that unless we made a truly transformational change, Bristol would simply languish as a third division retail centre.
"The retailers of Broadmead, the city council, our development partners and the South West RDA got together to develop the first business improvement district which has enabled us to invest in some major works to improve the area, and the opening of Cabot Circus provided a major boost in confidence that has clearly been supported by retailers who see a tremendous future for Broadmead."A new business improvement district will enable us to market our retail offer more aggressively and continue to invest in Broadmead, ensuring our standards are among the best."
John Savage, chief executive of GWE Business West, one of the founding partners of Destination Bristol and Broadmead Board echoed his views.
He said: "It seemed logical to use the experience we have accumulated in Broadmead to develop new partnerships between people who have a real stake in our key development areas, and the public sector, while at the same time upping our game in Broadmead to ensure that together with Cabot Circus, we make this one of the most popular shopping destinations in the UK.
"These two partnerships have achieved much in the last ten years. Destination Bristol is a mature, tried and tested organisation that is big enough to provide a great foundation upon which to build the partnership.
"For Broadmead Board, we felt we had come to a crossroads – Cabot Circus has opened and is certain to be a great success, but of course Broadmead Board has delivered on so many other fronts by acting as a catalyst for securing investment to improve the whole appearance of the area, and making it altogether a better place to shop and invest.
John Hallett is the managing director of Destination Bristol. He said: "There is a real sense Bristol is on the cusp of something very special.
"Every indicator is pointing towards the city becoming not just one of the most talked about places in the UK, but achieving something major on a European stage.
"In many respects, the absence of a truly exceptional retail proposition was the missing piece in the jigsaw that would allow us to move into top gear but we now feel we have a very special mix here.
"Our visitor economy is a vital pillar in Bristol's economy now with tourist spending over £750 million each year, much of which is in shops.
"Our aim is to ensure this new partnership focuses both on marketing the place to generate more visitors who we want to share our passion for making the city a great example of sustainable living and business operation, but also to work with our partners and do what we can to build the city's reputation by delivering real customer satisfaction in every aspect."