FACTS AND FIGURES
According to the 2011 Census, Bristol’s population stands at 428,200, making it the 10th largest local authority in England and Wales. This number increased by 9.8% in the past ten years, making it the third fastest growing ‘core city’ (behind Manchester and Nottingham). Bristol has a relatively young age profile, with an average age of 33.7, compared to the national average of 39. The largest age group in Bristol is the 25-29 sector, representing 38.1% of the population – again, a higher reflection than the English average of 34.7%.
Bristol has a much higher working-age population than the rest of the UK, standing at 70%; and 35% of these people are educated to degree level or equivalent. Employment-wise, Bristol is well-known for aerospace and advanced engineering industries, of which 9 out of the 12 UK’s largest aerospace companies are based. Other popular sectors in Bristol include the creative industry, and ICT.
The largest city in the South West, Bristol is easily accessible from all over the world. Bristol’s airport is a mere 20 minutes drive from the city centre; and offers flights to holiday destinations and major cities in Europe. Delegates wishing to reach Bristol from further afield can fly into London Heathrow, which is just 90 minutes away from Bristol, or London Luton, 2 hours away. Both airports have daily flights to cities all over the world, and serve a combined total of almost 80 million passengers each year.
Bristol Temple Meads is the city’s main train station, and serves almost 9 million passengers each year, making it the 13th busiest train station in the UK outside of London. Bristol is easily accessible by rail from all over the country, as direct trains run between many major cities. Among these are Cardiff in just under an hour, London in 105 minutes, Manchester in 3 hours and even Edinburgh, although it does take 7 hours!
Once in the city, travelling around couldn’t be any easier. Bristol is served by First Buses, which runs regular routes through the city and the South West, carrying 55 million passengers over 31.3 million miles every year. For travelling around the centre of Bristol, the F1 bus provides free transport. For something different, you can explore the city by ferry, with three different companies offering services (some which are guided) along the river Avon to major tourist attractions.
As the South West’s biggest city, with accessible links to both major UK cities and smaller coastal towns, it perhaps comes as no surprise that Bristol is a popular city for conferences. Such popularity is reflected in the large choice available: 186 venues in total. With 12 venues able to hold more than 500 delegates and 3 venues with a maximum capacity of over 1,000; companies with large parties can easily be catered for. Bristol’s largest venue, the Hippodrome, can hold up to 2,000 delegates. Nevertheless, smaller parties will find themselves faced with an even bigger choice, with 77 venues catering exclusively for parties of 30 or less.
Bristol is home to a total of 102 hotels, reflecting its popularity as a tourist and corporate destination. Of these hotels, whilst there are no 5 stars, an impressive 58 hotels are four star, ensuring luxury is certainly in abundance. Companies with more modest budgets will also find themselves spoilt for choice, with 23 three star and 9 two star hotels to decide between.
LEISURE AND TOURISM
Whilst primarily in Bristol on conference, no doubt you and your delegates will want to explore the city and see what it has to offer. History buffs will certainly feel at home in Bristol, with its vast number of museums, cathedrals and stately homes to visit; as well as the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Bristol’s shopping is certainly something to boast about, with 500 retail stores in Bristol’s ‘Shopping Quarter’ in the city centre; as well as an out-of-town complex offering well-known names. For quirky finds, head to Park Street and Clifton; and make sure to visit Guilbert’s Chocolate store – the only remaining chocolate-maker in Bristol!
Delegates wishing to spend a night out in Bristol will be amazed at just how big the music scene is there, with live music and gigs taking place in the city almost every night, ranging from rock and pop to folk and dubstep… Bristol has something for you no matter what your taste in music! The city also offers a huge choice in restaurants – with everything from family pubs, to gastro’s and quaint afternoon tea. If it’s trendy bars you’re after, head to the Harbourside for some great cocktails – you certainly won’t be disappointed!
Images courtesy of DestinationBristol