Bristol: How ‘alternative’ is its local economy?
July 28, 2015
Bristol is famous for doing things differently and its local currency, strong sense of ethics and powerful community action set it apart from the UK’s other core cities. But its image as an ‘alternative’ economy is exacerbating the city’s inequality. If you were to imagine an alternative local economy, it would probably look something like Bristol. Social enterprises and local businesses shout louder than chain stores in parts of the city centre; you can use its local currency the Bristol Pound to pay for everything from bus fares to business rates; it has fiercely independent high streets and a strong small business sector. Ethical and alternative finance – from Triodos to the Bristol SITR fund – is tapped into to set up social initiatives, and some of the UK’s most famous environmental organisations, from Sustrans to the Soil Association, have their base here. Bristol has been named European Green Capital … (To read more, subscribe below)