Bristol and its people, like all cities, faces challenges on many fronts. But by working with committed partners, we want to build a city which gives opportunity to everyone and protects the iconic buildings and heritage which make it what it is. The work with the Prince’s charities we are announcing today is an opportunity to embed experienced and successful organisations in initiatives working on these fronts in the city, and give them a better chance of success.
The Black Lives Matter protests and toppling of the Colston statue last June were in part a reflection of the growing structural inequalities that exist locally, nationally and internationally. Inequalities that are embedded within many of the systems that govern our lives and which mean not all people are treated fairly or have the same opportunities or life chances as others. These inequalities have been exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic this past year.
We were really pleased to discuss the possibility of a shared response to these socio-economic challenges in Bristol with two of the Prince of Wales’s core charities last year, following an introduction from Lord Simon Woolley and Shabir Randeree OBE.
We’re delighted to announce today that the Prince’s Foundation and The Prince’s Trust, with funding from The Prince’s Charitable Foundation, will work with Bristol City Council and a number of community groups, to identify practical projects in Bristol which would bring benefit to a wide range of local communities.
Ashton Court Mansion, at the heart of the much-loved Ashton Court estate, has been owned by the City of Bristol since the late 1950s. It’s a building of national importance, but following decades of underinvestment is in need of significant refurbishment. Public consultation has revealed a deep-rooted desire to maintain community involvement and public access to the Mansion. Which is why we’re really pleased to share that The Prince’s Foundation will be leading a community consultation on the future of Ashton Court Mansion from Spring 2021, which will bring together groups with an active interest in the building as well a wider network of community organisations. The Prince’s Foundation has over a decade of expertise in community-led heritage regeneration projects around the UK and will bring its skills and experience to bear on this exciting project.
In addition to this, The Prince’s Trust will be launching a city centre programme of activities around Temple Meads which will focus on training, employment and entrepreneurship for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Prince’s Trust, which champions youth opportunity, began working in Bristol over 30 years ago and has helped tens of thousands of young people, through various programmes focused on education, employability and enterprise. Across the UK, The Prince’s Trust has helped over one million young people.
We are excited to be partnering with these charities in building Bristol as a city where no one is left behind, especially as we recover from the pandemic. Together we want to make Bristol a national example of more meaningful social and economic inclusion for everyone. Our shared vision will see us taking practical steps to tackle structural inequalities faced by disadvantaged communities, in particular some of our Black and Asian communities.
We also look forward to engaging with the city on how to restore Ashton Court Mansion, an important city asset, for future generations to enjoy.
Local groups will be at the heart of these projects, to ensure their success, and more details of our partnership and opportunities for community engagement will be shared in the coming months.