GBCP NEWSLETTER (02:17) – 16th January 2017

Winter Lantern Parade

Bad weather stopped the parade in December, so it will now be on Saturday, 21 January.   The parade is due to start from near St Francis Church at 4.30 and will move along North Street turn into Cannon Street (about 5.15pm) and then head for South Street Park along British Road.   There will be fireworks in the school playing field at South Street from about 6pm.

It’s rumoured tat this may be the last Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade as funding may not be available for future events, so don’t miss this one.

Friends of Greville Smyth park

The next meeting has been rearranged for Monday 30th January at The Rising Sun pub on Ashton Road, 7pm – 9pm.

Bristol Soup

The next Bristol Soup event will take place on February 22nd from 6-9pm at The Ovo Energy building (1 riverrgate temple way).

People can ask for funds to do almost anything. All people need to do is fill in a one side form explaining what their project is and then commit to appear on the night to tell people about it.  Following the event we ask them to come back to the next one to tell people how things went and that’s it!

Previous pitches have included: Cricket equipment for children’s teams; Support to send artificial limbs to Africa; Money to support a mental health wellbeing coffee morning; Gardening and clean up equipment for a friends of group………

The funds are given in cash on the night and there are no long application forms to fill in. No need for a constitution, policies or a bank account so really easy!

For more information please look at:

Update on the construction of the new MetroBus bridge near Winterstoke Road
In order to present the potential ‘worst-case’ for travellers/operators we think it prudent to state Balfour Beatty will be implementing the following road closures:

  • The northbound carriageway on Winterstoke Road between Marsh Road/Wedlock Way and Barons Close.
  • The whole of the northbound section of the Ashton Underpass from where it starts at the junction with Barons Close/Wedlock Way and Winterstoke Road) to where it ends and joins Brunel Way.
  • The level crossing at the junction with the Ashton Gate Underpass and Ashton Vale Road, leading into the Cala Trading Estate.

These closures are likely to be implemented on the following dates:

  • Saturday 8pm, 21 January to Sunday 8pm, 22 January
  • Saturday 8pm, 28 January to Sunday 8pm, 29 January

Diversions:  Signed diversions will be in place throughout the closure periods. The diversion for whilst the northbound section of Winterstoke Road is closed will be via Luckwell Road, Duckmore Road and then either Marsh Road or Ashton Road. However, at times when only the Ashton Underpass is closed, the diversion route will be via the Winterstoke northbound lane, Ashton Road and Brunel Way.

Construction progress:  Work for the new bridge is progressing well. There’s a timelapse video on YouTube of the work that was done prior to the first lift in December:

Victoria Park Star Party

Sunday 29 January VPAG are holding a Star Party at Victoria Park, similar to the one held two years ago. If the skies are clear, members of Bristol Astronomical Society will bring their telescopes into the park, which should enable us to see the Orion Nebula, the Crab Nebula, the giant star Betelgeuse, a number of star clusters and double stars and the planet Uranus. At the same time, Explorer Dome will run star shows in their inflatable planetarium in St Michaels Church, as well as telling fascinating stories in the park about various major constellations.  Refreshments, including hot chocolate, will be available for purchase from Lucille’s Caravan. If it’s cloudy or wet, the event will still go ahead with all these activities based in the church, although obviously no stars will be visible through the telescopes!

As the star dome can only take 25 people at a time, we will fill it on a first-come, first-served basis, with the first show starting at 6.30pm. You can book places by coming to the church anytime from 6.15pm onwards.

We are not making a formal charge, but are suggesting a donation towards the cost of £3 per adult and £1 per child.

No. of adults in your party:
No. of children in your party (under 16):
Preferred email address (if not the one to which we sent this):
If you would be willing to help with running the event on the day, or want to bring your own telescope along, please let me know!

Grand quiz night

Saturday March 4rd from 7-11pm, Elephant House North Street: quiz, booze, raffle of cheesey Xmas gifts.
It’s about raising funds to go to Kenya with the school in June, to build a security fence at a Kenyan village school (to keep out animals and dangerous people) and other charity work, and travel round.
£5 a ticket, teams of 4-6.
If you want to get a team together we would LOVE to see you there. It will be a laugh.
Also, do you have any cheesey – or wonderful but unwanted – Xmas gifts we can use for the raffle, for a good cause? Like.. Aunt Enid’s purple knitted socks; or a bottle of Cointreau?

Latest news from acta Community Theatre

Free training for drama workers. Next Wednesday (18 January) afternoon, drama facilitator CPD workshop with the acta team – free and open to all drama workers.

Seminars starting again. You may remember the quarterly seminars we offered over the last few years, leading up to the theatre from the heart festival in June? These Friday afternoon seminars will be returning  in 2017, and the first will be on the theme of community arts with refugees, on Friday 24 February, 1.30 – 4.30pm.

Yusuf Cant Talk / Yusuf on tour, originally created 2014 in partnership with Autism Independence, a group of Somali mums with autistic children, is now touring to Somali communities in other cities. A great audience for the Cardiff show last year, and will be in London on 26 January.

The actacentre Theatre Bar, which opened Autumn 15 as part of the extended actacentre, is currently open Thursdays and Fridays, and will be relaunched in the Spring. A new computer café will be using the space on Friday mornings, supporting more people to get online – pop along to find out more.

The new Studio space is proving increasingly popular with hirers, but still has some availability in the coming months – refreshments can be provided for hirers.

AGM. A chance to hear acta’s community choir at the Annual General Meeting this year – 7pm on Wednesday 25 January.

New Co-Working Space opening on East Street

If you have outgrown your home office, or perhaps you work for a small business that is seeking a new place of work, then you may be interested in a new co-working space that is due to open on East Street in the near future.

The former Lloyds Bank building and the adjacent Arcade, opposite Wilkos, are in the process of being converted into a co-working hub that will offer desk space – either single or multiple – that can be rented on a temporary or permanent basis. The team putting this together would like to invite you to come and see the space in February where you can discuss with them the kind of facilities you may require.

To book a viewing or if you would like further details contact

Bristol Arena

The work is still going ahead after a recent project review and should be open by autumn 2020, says Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.

Work is expected to start on site by spring 2018 but will be with a new contractor after Bristol City Council and Bouygues UK parted ways this week. The council has chosen not to progress to a main building contract with Bouygues UK to build the arena as an agreement on price cannot be reached.

Bouygues UK has been working as a consultant on the project in its capacity as preferred tenderer in a two stage tender process. This was to agree the final package of works and a target cost, ensuring all issues were understood and agreed before moving ahead with the physical building work. However the two sides have been unable to agree on price and will not be progressing to full contract.

The nature of the contractual agreement chosen by the council allows this to happen whilst retaining much of the preparatory work and learning. This is a common industry practice which helps protect against unexpected increases in cost and timescales once construction is underway. The council is now actively exploring other options to construct the arena as quickly as possible. The resulting venue will form part of an expanding Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone which was recently boosted with news that Bristol University plans to build a new campus in the area.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “I am committed to getting the arena built and despite this setback it remains closer than it has ever been. We have the design, the planning permission, the operator and the momentum of a successful Enterprise Zone. We also have a much better understanding of the complexities involved in bringing the building to life.

“I am disappointed that although so much work has been put in for so long, and despite recent constructive and detailed talks with Bouygues, we have simply been unable to agree on the target cost for the arena. We’ve tried to close the gap and have reluctantly accepted that we will not reach agreement.

“I firmly believe that we can and will build the arena Bristol deserves but this has to be for the right price. We have made a lot of progress and are now seeking an alternative contractor to build the arena as soon as possible.”

The council’s original procurement exercise allows the council to approach another contractor. The council can also re-tender if required with the benefit of experience and the work already done.

One Day Introduction to Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
Date: Tuesday 31 January 2017
Venue: To be confirmed (we’re aiming for a Central venue)
Times: 10 – 3.30pm (you need to be able to attend the whole day).
Trainer: Paul Macey

This training will be is relevant to Council and voluntary sector people who work directly with Bristol residents and managers. The training will help you consider the way you work,  think about how to work in a more empowering way and connect with others who are doing the same.
To book a place email: There has been a high demand for places so please book early.

The BCC Community Development and Public Health Teams are working together with the support of Cormac Russell, Nurture Development to consider how we can be catalysts and facilitators working alongside communities in ways that are empowering and move away from being (or being perceived to be) the gatekeepers or the people who ‘find it, fund it, fix it’. Our goal is to work with Bristol communities to build more inclusive and confident communities. We are keen to connect with colleagues in the city council, police and voluntary sector who are interested in this conversation.

What is Asset Based Community Development?  Social Justice is everyone’s business but requires a different way of thinking about the role of individuals, communities, associations and institutions in creating vibrant, prosperous and inclusive communities.

This is quite a challenge and can be a daunting prospect for anyone working towards social justice. We believe that ABCD offers a robust framework for social change, starting with the consideration of  the following questions:

1.What is it that communities can do best?
2.What do communities require help with?
3.What do communities need outside agencies to do for them?

ABCD assumes communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilising existing but often unrecognised assets but it does require allies – people alongside, helping where needed and in the right way. These principles are not new they are about good Community Development practice. ABCD provides us with a way of thinking about the way we work.


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