From a shop selling wool and other lush fabrics, to a craft beer bar, to architects, local people have been setting up shop in Cannon Street, East Street and Bedminster Parade thanks to £275,000 of investment from the West of England Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
Mayor Norris took a walk through the shopping streets to meet the people selling goods and services in formerly empty and derelict properties and heard how they had created thriving local businesses for all Bristolians to enjoy.
Local retailers were awarded grants of up to £10,000 for building and decorating works as well as to buy new equipment.
At No Frills Knitting Mayor Norris met Meg Winter whose colourful shop occupies the site of a former beauty shop that has been empty for more than a decade. He also popped into see East Street Emporium at the site of the former shoe shop from time gone by and saw a complete transformation from when decoration works were taking place during his last visit just over a year ago.
The West of England Combined Authority and Bristol City Council are also providing a further £404,000 for cultural events, planting and other green improvements on East Street, with a poetry and art workshops and concerts, youth theatre performances as well as a brand-new market, planned.
This is part of a wider £4.7 million joint initiative from the West of England Combined Authority and council to improve the city centre and nine local high streets, helping transform ten key areas in the city into more accessible, vibrant areas to shop, eat and relax.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Our high streets have had a tough time these last few years, and in Bedminster, the situation is no different. This is a £275,000 cash injection but it’s also a pride injection. Together we are helping shops come back to life, and people to feel proud of living in Bedminster. Thank you to Bedminster BID for showing me around and to all the shop keepers. There are some fantastic quirky shops springing up, so I’d encourage local residents to shop local.”
This Bedminster-focused scheme has proved so popular with locals, that Bristol City Council has expanded it to the City Centre and all of the city’s 46 high streets