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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Bristol City Centre BID receives national recognition for Bristol Light Festival 2022

The Business Magazine article image for: Bristol City Centre BID receives national recognition for Bristol Light Festival 2022
7 November 2022

Bristol City Centre BID has won a coveted award and national recognition at British BID’s National BID Awards, for the delivery of Bristol Light Festival 2022.

The highly acclaimed awards showcase Business Improvement District projects from across the UK, with particular emphasis on the positive impact of each project and what it achieves for businesses in the BID area.

In a category with exceptional competition, Bristol Light Festival shone through as the winner of the Special Recognition award, chosen for its creativity, significant economic impact, social and cultural benefits to the city and how it showcased Bristol at its best.

The festival was a marker for brighter times ahead, as the first major event in the city post-pandemic, welcoming visitors back into the city centre to wander and explore the city’s streets enjoying and supporting Bristol’s wonderful retail, hospitality, and night-time economy along the way.

The 2022 event was delivered against an economic and social landscape never experienced before and needed to consider and address the post-pandemic anxieties whilst creating an event that felt positive and joyful.

Key achievements of the event included:

  • 170,000 visitors across its duration, to see the 14 installations that created a trail through the city
  • Local businesses benefited from £3.4 million additional revenue across the event
  • The festival provided over 200 jobs to local industry professionals, and volunteering and mentoring sessions for young adults from the city
  • All installations were powered from the grid using existing power sources as well as energy-efficient lighting
  • Half of those that visited travelled by public transport or walked

Vicky Lee, head of Bristol City Centre BID said: “I am absolutely thrilled that the Bristol City Centre BID team and Bristol Light Festival has been recognised on a national scale, it is an event that we are very proud of and one that embodies everything that Bristol represents.

"This award is testament to the hard work of the BID team, our partners and event team that bring it to life.

“Bristol Light Festival demonstrates the importance of free to attend events to support city centre businesses and encourage people to spend leisure time in the city, and as our flagship event, it provided an economic boost for businesses when they need it most.

“The festival also created hundreds of jobs for event professionals, artists and creatives severely impacted by the pandemic and drove footfall to levy paying businesses, whist showcasing Bristol as the vibrant, playful and creative city that we know and love.

"Planning is underway for Bristol Light Festival 2023 – so watch this space.”

Pictured: Fran Inman, senior project manager Bristol City Centre BID, Vicky Lee, head of Bristol City Centre BID, and Leicester BID team.


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Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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