Science Park chief exec congratulates new Bristol mayor
Following today's announcement that George Ferguson has become Bristol's first elected mayor, Bonnie Dean says he must put the region on the map both nationally and internationally.
Bonnie Dean, chief executive of Bristol & Bath Science Park, said:
“I would like to congratulate George Ferguson on his election as Bristol’s first mayor. He must now put Bristol on the map both nationally and internationally, and this means helping business to maximise commercial opportunities, with everything from financial and practical support to cutting red tape.
“He must also fight for the city’s interests in Whitehall. Bristol has the fastest growing economy outside London and raising the City’s profile will maximise growth not just for the South West, but for UK Plc.
“Championing science and technology business offers a real and much-needed way of getting Bristol noticed. Research-led industry – from aerospace to robotics - is a leading sector for Bristol and the South West and offers unique potential to secure the future of the regional economy. In many of these technologies Bristol is on par with the US and other leading advanced economies. Such technologies have the potential to be developed into entirely new industries located in the city region. Our new mayor needs to keep the national spotlight on these emerging opportunities.
“Actively courting overseas investors must of course be a key element of the new role. Bristol’s attractiveness to business would be significantly enhanced by a rail link to Heathrow Airport. The mayor must promote Bristol as not only a leading place to do business, but as one of the best places in the UK to live – regularly topping standard of living surveys. Often we forget that business leaders too vote with their hearts as well as their heads when it comes to locating their greatest assets – their people.
“And finally another subject close to my heart as a North Bristol employer – realistic, affordable sustainable local transport solutions must be created linking employees to the Enterprise Areas and Enterprise Zone. Currently our workforce is faced with limited transport alternatives to the car, making it expensive, congesting and polluting to get to work. Steps are being taken – we hope the first bus route through the Science Park to be announced soon, but I would like to call on the mayor to take an active involvement in North Bristol SusCom, a group of major employers located along the A4174 promoting sustainable transport to their employees.”
Ann O’Driscoll, director at North Bristol SusCom added:
"Reducing congestion, particularly in the North Fringe, is essential if Greater Bristol is going to deliver new jobs and business growth. The mayor can really help by driving forward the delivery of the major rapid transit schemes which will enable many of our 40,000 employees to travel smarter and more sustainably. "