Toppling Colston’s statue could be an iconic moment for Bristol

This article was published in PR Week on 9 June. Thanks to them for giving me the opportunity to provide some thoughts from the perspective of a Bristol-based business.

Recent anti-racism protests across the world illustrate that, while language matters, action changes things.

Sunday’s dramatic events in Bristol, where debates about 17th century slave trader and former MP Edward Colston have simmered for many years, are a case in point.

Discussions about how a man with shared responsibility for transporting tens of thousands of Africans to British colonies is reflected in Bristol’s history were swept aside by protesters. It highlighted a sense that the time for talking (and getting nowhere) is over. In reality, as the debate goes global, the local conversation may be about to get going again.

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Locking gives the week a lift

David Warburton of the HCA and Nick Alexander of St Modwen at Locking Parklands this week

It’s been one of those weeks, which I am sure happens in every job, when you charge through every day at full pelt, tackle all tasks at hand and still find that half of the ‘to do’ list remains unfinished. The reason for this is the subject of another post (when I have a bit more brain power to think about it). 

One job that has delivered results this week is the long-awaited announcement of the start of work on site at Locking Parklands, near Weston super-Mare.

News that work on the first phase of the £400m development has begun was released on Tuesday and picked up as a front page piece (and online) in the Bristol Evening Post, the Western Daily Press, local media, business websites and on BBC Radio Bristol. Hopefully, there’s more to come tomorrow.

It has capped a busy week for the HCA’s developer partner St Modwen, who took the effort to inform local residents of the work by leafletting their homes on Monday. A website dedicated to the development is due to follow soon.

It’s great when things go well. I could do with a couple more like that next week.

Bath’s news hits the headlines

I’ve been with the BBC in Bath today, who have covered a major announcement about the Homes and Communities Agency’s investment in one of the South West’s most important regeneration projects.

My colleague David Warburton was joined by Bath and North East Somerset Council leader Francine Haeberling and director John Betty for morning interviews with broadcast crews outside the Bath Western Riverside development.

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