Whiteladies Road is one of Bristol’s local ‘high streets’, with a concentration of shops, restaurants and other services that support the local communities of Redland, Cotham and Clifton East. However, like many other town centres, it has suffered from the loss of small traders and an influx of national chains of grocery and coffee shops, and is in danger of becoming another ‘clone town’.
With a grant from Bristol City Council, Sustainable Redland hosted the Winning Whiteladies Project to try and reverse this trend. The project funded a part-time organiser for a year to promote the Whiteladies Road and Cotham Hill areas with the aims of:
- promoting the area,
- supporting local businesses,
- making best use of place, and
- promoting diversity.
As a group, we are obviously keen to promote sustainability. We would like to promote a thriving community based on local produce, local independent businesses, and carbon reduction. This includes energy efficient homes and businesses, reduced use of cars and reduced air-miles and more self-sufficiency in growing good healthy food. In particular, for a community to thrive it needs a welcoming environment, a sense of neighbourliness and mutual support.
By Hamish Wills
This £20,000 Neighbourhood Partnership funded project, hosted by Sustainable Redland, aimed at supporting and developing independent businesses and the environment in the Whiteladies business areas.
We employed Ken Simpson to be the project worker for a year, pulled together a representative steering group of 10 and drew up a work plan and list of priorities. The vision was that we wanted to promote the Whiteladies road area, provide business support, make best use of space and develop diversity.
At the completion of the project, we have a business marketing web site, a local business map delivered through the Redland, Cotham and Westbury Park Directory, many events that took place over Christmas 2013 and beyond, a revived Trader’s Association and are at the beginnings of being able to provide business support.
It’s taken a lot of leg work to get this far. Naturally traders will do anything affordable to promote their businesses, but being so time poor finding commitment, agreement and meeting time with them has proved challenging. Ken has persuaded a significant majority to contribute up front to funding the map and with the Association about to take off, it feels as though we’ve got the ball rolling.