What companies the council owns and what they do.

Since 2015, Bristol City Council has been the shareholder of several companies so that we can expand and commercialise services and invest the profits back into the city.

The role of shareholder is carried out by the Mayor or delegated to a Cabinet member, supported by an advisory group known as the Shareholder Group.

The council directly owns Bristol Holding Limited (the Holding Company, or BHL), which is the parent company of two trading companies:

  • Bristol Waste Company
  • Goram Homes

The council as shareholder sets the strategic direction for each company and approves certain material decisions, called ‘reserved matters', for each company.

Find out what reserved matter decisions are and what reserved matter decisions have been taken in the past.

By owning these companies, the council make sure:

  • a high standard of services is provided to all citizens 
  • a commercial approach is taken which secures value for money and optimises all available resources
  • there is effective governance and transparency 
  • ethical standards are embedded, ensuring the well-being and protection of the work force in the companies

Bristol Waste Company (BWC)

Bristol Waste is Bristol's recycling, waste collection, street cleansing and facilities management company. It was set up in 2015 to deliver better waste services for the people of Bristol.

Bristol Waste:

  • Employs over 800 people
  • Makes 17 million scheduled collections every year
  • Operates 180 vehicles
  • Collects 160,000 tonnes of waste and recycling per year, of which 75,000 tonnes is sent for composting or recycling
  • Cleans 800 miles of streets and footpaths
  • Responds to 180,000 ad hoc job requests and service queries annually

BWC runs campaigns such as #SlimMyWaste, #LitterHurts and #BigTidy to inspire change and help keep Bristol clean and green, pushing forward the city's sustainable goals

Bristol Waste employs colleagues to fulfil its cleaning and security role internally to the council as part of its facilities management function.

You can find out more about the ways that Bristol Waste is reducing waste and increasing recycling in the city on the Bristol Waste website.

Goram Homes

Goram Homes was set up in 2018 to increase the number of new homes built each year. They do this by partnering with the private sector to build homes on sites across the city.

Together they build sustainable, affordable homes that create communities, respect the environment and contribute to the local economy.

You can find out more about Goram Homes' housing plans on the Goram Homes website.

Bristol Holding Limited

Bristol Holding Limited is the parent company of both Bristol Waste Company and Goram Homes. Its role includes providing assurance to the council on the commercial and financial performance of these companies.

This includes monitoring the delivery of the companies' business plans and objectives, and whether their corporate governance arrangements are effective.

Partnership: Bristol City Leap

Bristol City Council is part of a joint venture partnership called City Leap.

The joint venture is with a private sector partner, Ameresco, who work with Vattenfall UK. The joint venture partnership was established in 2023 and is focussed on strategic decarbonisation projects.

Over the next five years, Bristol City Leap will invest nearly £500 million into low carbon energy infrastructure. This includes solar, wind, heat networks, heat pumps and energy efficiency measures. All of which will help Bristol meet its carbon reduction targets of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Dormant companies and minority interests

The council also owns several dormant companies and has minority interests in a number of other companies.

For more information on these, contact the Shareholder Liaison Service: shareholderliaison@bristol.gov.uk

Find out about the Company Handbook

The Company Handbook provides more information about the council's relationships with its companies, and relevant policies and processes.

Find out more about the companies

If you'd like to speak with someone to find out more about the council's companies or how the council acts as shareholder, contact the Shareholder Liaison Service: shareholderliaison@bristol.gov.uk