Building a Reputation for Innovation

This week we have received highly positive feedback on Bristol City Council’s joint bid with British Research Establishment (BRE), a centre of building science, and a consortium of partners to the UK Research and Innovation agency.

Following a successful submission, the project builds on the work of the Bristol Housing Festival to showcase and facilitate delivery of Modern Methods of Construction. The proposal has been selected for the 2nd stage of the Innovate UK call, closing in on the consortium’s £2m bid. zed-pods-1

Modern Methods of construction, the term for off-site or factory built homes, are part of the Festival’s innovative approach to finding solutions to the UK’s housing crisis. The Festival is about making the city a living exhibition of the latest and most inventive approaches to housing and the launch has set the scene for our unorthodox approach. The Bristol Housing Festival sets out our aspirations to showcase the city’s determination to lead and deliver on one of our key priorities.

Innovate UK is a government agency which looks to support research and help innovation to flourish. They work with partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas and have invested in projects worth over £4.3 billion over the last ten years. Their competition looked for 10 world-leading practical demonstrator projects which must establish improvements in productivity, quality and performance of the UK construction sector.

The bid scored very high marks and feedback, so we are now even more optimistic that this bid will be successful and secure additional funding for the council. It will help with increased staff resource and additional expertise, so that a fully funded programme could commence in April next year.

jezJez Sweetland, the director of the Festival said ‘We are delighted that the bid has received such a positive response – the ambition of the bid and its collaboration across 15 partners is great testament to the ambition, scale and opportunity that is being shaped in Bristol.’

The next stage is an interview and presentation in London at the start of January, which will be attend by BRE, Bristol City Council and Bristol Housing Festival.

We then expect to hear about the result later next month. We know that the Housing Festival, Bristol City Council working in collaboration with the right partners have so much more to do if we are to overturn decades of failure to build homes, but this shows the progress being made and the scale of ambition. Getting external praise is encouraging and shows our commitment to ensuring Bristol is a place with a reputation for innovation and getting stuff done.

I’d like to thank everyone involved in the project to date and wish them good luck for the next stage.

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