A nifty way to get local food in your area of Bristol

Getting your hands on tasty, locally-produced food can be tough when you’re surrounded by high streets strewn with supermarkets.

But now there is a way to get great quality, fairly priced food in your local area. It’s all delivered for free and you become part of a community too.

That’s the idea behind Real Economy – a project originally set up by the Bristol Pound but now ploughing it’s own furrow across the city. Let this intro video do the talking:

Steph, the coordinator of Real Economy, explains:

“Real Economy is an exciting way to buy food and drink, and a great way to spend Bristol Pounds. Our online platform lets you buy food directly from local producers, helping to support local farmers, and since our producers are paid in Bristol Pounds, your money continues to circulate in the local economy.”

“We have food clubs all across the city. You simply register with your local group, place your online order and we deliver to your local collection point. Our food clubs are also a great way to meet new people and build community around food.”

Find out more about Real Economy and place your first order:
https://www.realeconomy.co.uk/

 

9 surprising places that accept Bristol Pounds

I have lived in Bristol all my life, and when the Bristol Pound was introduced in 2012, I will admit, I did not come much into contact with it. Whilst the novelty and purpose of the Bristol Pound seemed admirable, I had no idea of the sheer number of places that actually accepted it - over 800 businesses across the city.

I’ve been browsing through the Bristol Pound directory and here are the 9 places that surprised me the most.

The Arnolfini

Image: Arnolfini / Jamie Woodley

This includes both the bookshop and the café/bar too! The number of times I’ve visited the Arnofilni, and never known it was a supporter of our currency.

Chandos Deli

This surprised me because, not only is there a Chandos Deli round the corner from my own home, but also because I had always assumed it was part of a chain. This highlights one of the great uses of the Bristol Pound – distinguishing truly local businesses from the larges chains they compete against.

Bristol Temple Meads Station

SWNS_FGW_BRISTOL_POUNDS_11

Whilst I have known for a while that First Bus accepts the Bristol Pound, I would never have made a guess at Bristol Temple Meads Station! Certainly something to keep in mind when you next buy a ticket at the station’s ticket offices.

Folk House

I have always known of the Folk house for the café and music. However, the sheer amount of events at the Folk House is staggering.

Flavalanche

Just up the road from the Folk House is Flavalanche. As a long time lover of both Frozen Yoghurt and bubble Tea, knowing this place accepts Bristol Pounds just increases my motivation to visit more often.

Bristol Ticket Shop

Bristol has a pretty solid music scene. We have a great selection of venues, and thus get a huge variety of bands. All of the tickets are to be found in the Ticket Shop, and great to know that they can now be bought with Bristol Pound!

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

I feel like this should have been obvious, but as entry to the museum is free, it did not occur to my mind, despite having spent a large bulk of my childhood here doing the trails.

At-Bristol

This science museum was a staple of my childhood, I even went as far as to have multiple birthday parties here!

Watershed

Last, but certainly not least, the Watershed. I’ve been here many times over the years, both to the café, and cinema. It has always felt like such a staple that it’s impossible not to imagine that every city has a Watershed, but it’s acceptance of the Bristol Pound proves it is truly a Bristol-only thing.

So here are ten of the places I truly did not realise accepted the Bristol Pound, but in all honesty, I could have listed a few hundred other places. The Bristol Pound is more widespread than I had ever previously believed, and I’m certain that there are places you won’t have considered.

They’re all listed in the Bristol Pound directory, so this is the best place to start.

Caroline Jeston is a born and bred Bristolian and freelance blogger. You can check out her more geeky writings here or her personal blog here

 

Can you help shape the Bristol Pound?

Bristol Pound are inviting our individual users to join a new Users Group to give feedback and opinions on Bristol Pound projects and initiatives.

Bristol Pound user group

Where: Upstairs hub room, Roll for the Soul, 2 Quay St, Bristol, BS1 2JL
When: Thursday 23 June 2016
Time: 19:30 – 20:30

Join our User Group and get experience influencing Bristol’s alternative currency scheme.

The first group will meet on 23th June and will be made up of a group of representative individual users from across the city. Any member can join the Users Group, though space will be limited in order to create a good quality, intimate discussion.

The Users Group will be a space for collective leverage over our local currency, making the Bristol Pound more responsive to our users. It will also be a great place to network and meet other Bristol Pound users who share an interest in improving our local economy.

During this first meeting, we will discuss what format we want the group to take, give updates on ongoing and upcoming Bristol Pound projects and gather feedback. A format for the group will be suggested and agreed by consensus and we hope that members of the group will be happy to meet three times a year.

Light refreshments will be available and space is limited to 15 attendees.

If you’d like to be involved please RSVP by email to Ruby at ruby@bristolpound.org

 

Bristol Pound businesses: tell us your news

Whether you’re launching a new product, moving location or holding a special event – let the Bristol Pound team know so we can share your good news.

News

Bristol Pound users tell us they want to know more about the local, independent businesses who accept the Bristol Pound. They also want to discover new places and ways to spend their Bristol Pounds.

That’s why we want to bring together businesses who accept the local currency and the people who want to spend them. To do that, we want to share more of your news and the stories that make your business different.

We’ve set up an email address so you can send us the latest info – it could be a press release, an invite, a picture or just the details. Send them to comms@bristolpound.org. Add the email address to your mailing list or tweet us @bristolpound with a link.

We can’t promise to share everything but we will get out as much as possible.

Send press releases, emails, pictures, questions to comms@bristolpound.org.

 

Event: Introduction to ethical finance for businesses

Prospects Network - Bristol Pound

Bristol is a hotbed of alternative ways of doing things – that includes finance for small and medium size businesses. Bristol Pound members are coming together to hear how they can benefit from using the many ethical finance options available in the city – and you’re invited.

What: Introduction to Ethical Finance for Small & Medium Size Businesses
When: Wednesday 8 June, 10am – 1pm
Where: Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Rd, Bristol, BS3 1TF

Book your place now

Bristol Pound are working with the city’s sustainability champions, Go Green, for this morning workshop at the Tobacco Factory to help you join the dots between your company’s values and the financial services you use.

Speakers include:

Wren Aigaki-Lander - Within People
Alex Higgins - Triodos Bank
Steve Clarke - Bristol Pound
Vicki Woolley - Bristol Green Capital Partnership
Jack Farmer – LettUs Grow

The agenda

Enjoy a tasty, sustainably sourced breakfast with like-minded local businesses and learn how you can align ethical finance with your company’s purpose.

Hear how values are integral to decision making at Triodos Bank.

Find out how Bristol Pound’s new Prospects Network for SMEs can benefit you.

Get practical tips to help you identify the positive difference your company’s financial choices can make.

Investigate if crowdfunding could suit your business.

This is a great opportunity to complement your business’ ethos with your finances – and reap the benefits of doing so. Discounted places are available for Bristol Pound members but they’re limited so book now:

Book now

Together we’ll explore the unique opportunities Bristol businesses have to shape their world and grow their business by choosing from the ethical finance options the city has pioneered.

 

5 top festivals taking place in Bristol this summer

When it comes to festivals, the people of Bristol are pretty spoilt for choice. With a different one taking place almost every weekend over the summer, it’s a hard job to work out which are the best ones to go to – but thankfully we’re here to help. Here’s Bristol blogger BrizzleKezSays’ top pick of the 5 best festivals that are taking place in Bristol this summer.

Love Saves The Day

One of the city’s most popular music festivals returns for its fifth stint in Eastville Park this May. Combining the best of Bristol’s underground music scene and big-name acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Hot Chip and Everything Everything, if you love Dubstep and Electro then this is the festival for you. There is often some stall holders that accept Bristol Pounds too – great news for when you decide to tear yourself away from the music for a bite to eat! Taking place over the last May bank holiday (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29), tickets for the weekend and the Sunday are already sold out. However, if you fancy going there are still day tickets available for Saturday at £43.45 each including booking fee – but be quick, we’re sure they won’t be around for long!

Lets Rock Bristol

Another big-profile music festival to hit Bristol this summer is Lets Rock Bristol. This 80s-themed retro extravaganza promises to bring a sense of nostalgia to fans of the decade’s music. Taking place at Ashton Court from Friday 3 – Sunday 4 June, this year’s line up features Jason Donovan, Sinitta and Paul Young. Tickets are still available, with day tickets costing £49.50 each including booking fee.

Grillstock

If you love all things BBQ, then you need to get yourself to Grillstock, which takes over Bristol’s harbourside on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Described as “Meat, Music and Mayhem”, it’s fairly safe to say that this isn’t the festival for vegetarians and you should be able to use your Bristol Pounds to buy meaty treats from some of the stallholders too. Created by the team who run the city’s restaurant with the same name, think eating competitions, BBQ demonstrations, plus a great range of live music from bands such as Levellers and The Stranglers.  Day tickets cost £33 for Saturday or £24 for Sunday, or if you think you can handle it a weekend ticket costs £45.

Harbour Festival

One of the UK’s largest public festivals, Bristol’s Harbour Festival takes place from Friday 15 –  Sunday 17 July. Celebrating the city’s maritime history, this family-friendly festival has something for everyone – including food and drink, markets, live music and entertainment. One of the highlights of the festival is the fireworks that take place on the Saturday night, when the whole harbourside area comes alive with a fantastic display. But best of all, the festival is working in partnership with Bristol Pound to make it a truly local experience – so if you have Bristol Pounds then this will be the perfect opportunity for you to spend them, with Bristol Pound cash points located across the festival site.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol’s famous International Balloon Fiesta hits Ashton Court from Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 August. A proper Bristol institution, this festival is now in its 39th year. The free event includes mass balloon ascents over four days, a fairground, food stalls, live entertainment in the main arena and promises a load of fun for the whole family.  The highlight of the event is the night glows which take place on the Thursday and Saturday night – the sight of seeing the balloons light up in time to music is a must see in my opinion!

Keri Beckingham is a lifestyle blogger, a proud Bristolian and freelance writer who loves shopping/gigs/cooking/meals out/a good read/all things vintage. You can read her blog BrizzleKezSays here.

Are you paying for your council tax in Bristol Pounds yet?

If, like me, you’re someone with many good intentions, always making lists of things you want to improve – signing up to a greener energy company, finding a better way than supermarkets to shop, getting round to paying for council tax in Bristol Pounds – I say shut down this screen right now and get to it. Pay your council tax and business rates with Bristol Pounds.My favourite quote about procrastination is Picasso’s “only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”. OK, this is admittedly a little heavy for simply changing your buying habits. But when something really matters, and for me, supporting the local community and the people in it deeply matters, I think you’ve got to seize the moment to make those lifestyle changes you’ve been thinking about for so long.

Paying for my council tax in Bristol Pounds has been on my to-do list since it was announced that you can pay this way. A quick Google search makes me realise that that was more than a year ago. It was only when the latest bill came through in March that I thought it’s time I get this sorted. What’s fiddly about the process is that the first council tax bill is a slightly different amount, so setting up the regular payments is a little clunky. But so worth it. I’m sure the more people use this system the more streamlined it’ll become though.

Now that a healthy amount of cash is going into my Bristol Pound account each month, I’m paying for more stuff in Bristol Pounds. On the way back from a meeting in Whiteladies Road, I had a quick search to find vendors accepting Bristol Pound. My first try wasn’t successful – I popped into the RWA gift shop to try to buy some greeting cards, but was told their text-to-pay wasn’t currently working. Hey ho. Instead I visited Park St Local newsagents and came out with the guilty pleasure of a Grazia mag. Park Street, Bristol Later on in the week I paid for my lunch at Bagel Boy by text message and, on another day, coffee out. Easy. Even if I did have to explain what Bristol Pounds are on occasion (and a manager had to come and assure the shop assistant), once you’re set up to text from the app and everyone knows what they’re doing, the process of paying is much quicker than using a bank card.

So anyone in Bristol without a Bristol Pound account – and anyone with an account lying dormant – I urge you not to kick the bucket leaving it undone. Get an account by signing up online or pop into the Bristol Credit Union office on Cheltenham Rd as soon as you can, then crack on with sorting the council tax too. Once it’s done it’s done.

Ramona Andrews is a food writer and digital content producer who has written for the BBC, Time Out, Channel 4 and many more.

Sign up for a Bristol Pound account here and find out how to pay your council tax here.

Park Street image courtesy of Rept0n1x

A food shop just using Bristol Pounds?

Last week I challenged myself as a newbie to Bristol, to do a food shop using JUST Bristol Pounds.

Shopping with Bristol Pounds

This ‘city specific’ currency is wholly new to me and I find it fascinating. What I wanted to know was whether the Bristol Pound is a thing designed to appeal to tourists or whether real Bristolians are using it for every day purchases. After all, if they are – this is a good thing – because more of the Bristol Pound goes back into Bristol than the standard pound, thus, its supporting the local economy in a more effective manner.

I headed down to the Tourist Information Centre last week to purchase my pounds – all very easy – it was a straight swap, cash for cash. I asked the lady behind the counter who she’s selling them to. She told me that they sell a lot of them to all sorts of people including lots of locals and definitely not just to tourists (despite there being a Japanese couple behind me in the queue who told me they were buying them as a souvenir).

Shopping with Bristol Pounds

Anyway, with my directory in hand, I headed out to buy some food. It was a small achievable list which was mainly vegetables with a few rogue items (chipotle chilli and tortillas) which I needed for a recipe I’m working on.

I spent a couple of hours walking from town up to and along Gloucester Road and as I went along, I was really impressed to see just how many places accept the Bristol Pound either in cash or text message form with big clear window stickers announcing that they accept the currency. I found that on Gloucester Road alone, there were numerous places – greengrocers, cafes, delis and international shops – where I could shop.

My favourite though, was back towards town. Bear Fruit, a pop up grocers in the Bear Pit and very convenient for home. I spent some time talking to the guy there, explained what I was doing and why. He loved it and told me how great he thinks the £B is. I picked up almost everything I needed that day with just a few items I had to resort to else where for.

Shopping with Bristol Pounds

My experience was wholly positive – it sparked conversations and made me feel part of the community. I’ll definitely use Bristol Pounds again. They help the community and give you a sense of belonging which is greatly appreciated by me, a newbie to this great foodie city!

So thank you to the Bristol Good Food Diaries and Bristol Food Connections for welcoming me in and giving me the idea for this challenge! Nailed it!

Alex Ryder is a food writer and blogger who has recently moved to Bristol. You can read more of her adventures in food here: http://www.gingeybites.com/.

 

How sharing can help Bristol

A special speaker is coming to Bristol tomorrow to discuss how sharing can help cities progress.

Julian Agyeman

Professor Julian Agyeman is the co-author of the book “Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities” - in which he explores how sharing offers cities the opportunity to connect smart technology to justice, solidarity and sustainability.

He will be joining Bristol’s Friends of the Earth group to discuss these innovative ideas and to see how Bristol can make the most of them.

Sharing Cities – a Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities
When: Tuesday 10 May from 7.30pm to 9.15pm
Where: Watershed Cinema, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX
Book now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sharing-cities-a-case-for-truly-smart-and-sustainable-cities-tickets-24785074826

Julian brings a wealth of examples from every continent to show how innovations in sharing are working in practice to make cities fairer and more sustainable places – that includes the Bristol Pound.

So come prepared to listen, learn and engage about the potential of the sharing economy across our city.

Spaces are limited so please book your place now.

 

 

Listen again: Bristol Mayor candidates on local economy and sustainability

Candidates for the job of Mayor of Bristol were at the Arnolfini on the Harbourside last week to answer questions from over 200 residents and businesses.

Bristol mayor hustings panel

Listen again to the two hour debate with Ujima Radio’s podcast:
http://www.ujimaradio.com/2016/04/mayoral-candidates-answer-questions/ 

The sold-out event was organised by the Bristol Pound with Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, Bristol Cycling Campaign, Friends of the Earth and Sustrans. BBC Radio Bristol presenter Laura Rawlings chaired the debate with candidates George Ferguson (Independent), Kay Barnard (Liberal Democrat), Tony Dyer (Green Party) and Marvin Rees (Labour Party) in attendance.

The local economy section was kicked off with the question:

The council spends over £350 million of public money each year and lots of it is spent with businesses outside Bristol, including large multi-nationals. What practical steps will you take to increase the amount of money staying in Bristol?

Tony Dyer pointed out the increasing problem with tax havens, but offered his solution: “We have a big problem with tax avoidance and lots of money going overseas – however none of them accept Bristol Pounds. If you are spending your money with Bristol Pound, you are stopping tax avoidance and bringing money back into our local economy.”

George Ferguson believes in the benefits of using Bristol Pounds and encourages the audience to invest themselves and spend across the city: “I want to see Bristol Pounds become more available across institutions and businesses to use across the city, whether it be paying for a council tax bill, energy bill or your bus fare.”

Marvin Rees stated Bristol is one of the more prosperous city’s in the country, yet the gap between the rich and poor is growing: “People are feeling excluded. To drive a good economy, we need to equip young people for work. There are practical things we can do; plan ahead, have apprenticeships in place, skills pipeline in place and of course, pay the living wage.”

Kay Barnard, also in favour of more apprenticeships in local businesses to address social exclusion. “One of the main problems is smaller, local business are excluded from local procurement in favour of big, national companies.”

Read more from the hustings:
http://bristolgreencapital.org/what-bristols-mayoral-candidates-had-to-say-at-our-sustainability-themed-hustings/