Regional Spotlight: Bristol

26 February 2004 by
Regional Spotlight: Bristol

Bristol is the largest city in the South-west of England, with a population of half-a-million, an airport that last year serviced 3.8 million passengers, two universities and a vibrant city centre.

Jonathan Hill, associate director at the Bristol office of property agent Christie & Co, says the development of the city centre and the Harbourside area has created more opportunities for hospitality businesses.

"Bristol has very buoyant business traffic, and hotels enjoy quite high occupancies, especially Monday to Thursday," adds Hill. "The restaurant market is also fantastically buoyant here."

But the city centre is quite corporate-dominated, and there's strong competition for prime sites, whether pubs, hotels or restaurants. While the Clifton area has many private hotels, they don't become available very often.

Other options include the mass of redundant office space in the city, which has been looked at for hotel use, and the Bristol & West Building Society tower also has development potential.

"There's quite a lot of competition for restaurant opportunities but there are smaller leasehold opportunities that aren't big enough for the corporates, and smaller, specialist restaurants do very well in Bristol, especially in the suburbs," says Hill. "In the surrounding fringes there are also a lot of food-led pubs that are doing very well. We're selling lots of pubs, though we struggle to get freehold opportunities in the city centre. B&Bs remain very popular."

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