Bristol: Global City

Bristol: Global City

Our international strategy, our global ambitions, and how we’re planning to achieve them.

Bristol has always been an international city and today is made up of communities from all around the world. 

Across the city, people speak 91 languages, come from 187 countries, and practice at least 45 religions. 

We have a growing international reputation as a sustainable, innovative, and culturally diverse place. We were awarded the title of European Green Capital 2015 and European City of Sport 2017. 

We’re a:

  • UNESCO Learning City, promoting learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds
  • City of Sanctuary, welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum seekers

We have strong links into vibrant international networks, including:

We have cultural, educational, research and international development relationships with our seven twin cities around the world.

We’re one of the top ten most visited cities by international and domestic tourists in the UK, and have the strongest regional market in the country. 

We also have two world-class universities with an annual intake of around 5,000 international students, as well as world-leading business incubator hubs. 

The Bristol City Council international strategy

The city’s success brings some difficult issues, such as:

  • inequality
  • an increasingly highcost of living
  • traffic congestion

We’ll use our international strategy, Bristol: Global City (pdf, 4.4MB) (opens new window) , to support the city’s efforts to address these challenges. 

Our international strategy focuses our work, and aligns it with those of our partners working across the world. It supports a coordinated and proactive approach to developing relationships and business overseas. 

What we want to achieve

Our goal is to work with the world for local and global benefit, achieving our vision of a stronger, more inclusive city, and providing leadership on global development goals. 

We want:

  • to lead on shared global values and development goals, such as inclusivity, sustainability and resilience
  • a stronger Bristol economy that acts as an international gateway to the UK 
  • our international communities and global citizens to link Bristol to the world, creating a culturally vibrant, cohesive and welcoming city
  • more devolved power to local and regional government, giving a stronger voice to cities to ensure international and national policy meets the needs of citizens

How we work

We’ll achieve our international strategic objectives by focusing on:

  • Profile: building on Bristol’s international profile to develop a more prosperous and sustainable city

  • Policy: influencing local, regional, European and global policy to drive our city’s agenda and meet the needs of our city
  • Prosperity: increasing and broadening prosperity through building on global links, securing international funding, trade, investment, cultural and educational opportunities
  • People: supporting and building on the cultural, educational and economic links of Bristol’s global citizens and diverse international communities 
  • Partnerships: participating in target national and international networks that will provide the links, knowledge and funding we need to deliver our strategy

Through Bristol: Global City, we’ll work to reduce inequality by building a resilient, progressive economy that creates opportunities and jobs.

We’ll join city, national and international leaders in delivering the global values and development goals that shape our future.

You can follow us on Twitter via #BristolGlobalCity