City Leap is Bristol City Council’s next big energy investment programme, with a remit including: heat networks, smart energy system, energy efficiency for homes and commercial buildings, renewable energy and more.

We want to ensure that communities in Bristol are able to have a say, get jobs and benefit from this big infrastructure programme, which will be a key part of Bristol getting to zero carbon. 

City Leap is a joint venture with a private partner, and Bristol City Council is currently choosing from their three preferred bidders to select who that partner will be.

We are aiming to influence the way that City Leap is set up so that it benefits communities in Bristol. In June 2021 we wrote a report for one of the bidders, so that they know what Bristol communities want, and hopefully they will include this in their proposal to the council.

You can read our report here. Please keep in mind that this is a living document and we intend to develop and adapt it with more input from our members. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.

We want to know about the following from our members and the wider community:

  • housing development projects you are planning
  • any renewable energy generation projects you would like to see in your area
  • skills and training needs for local residents to work on citywide energy projects
  • what resources communities need to develop your own energy projects
  • do you think people in your communities would invest in local or citywide energy projects?

Bristol Energy Network is one of the partners in the Community Energy Propagator group, which is aiming to show the bidders that working with the community is a good way to ensure that their project is successful. The propagator group is proposing the following five ways for the community energy sector to have a role in City Leap:

Proposal for bidders – in business jargon

What this means in plain English:

  1. Development support for communities to access expertise in the early stages of developing their own energy projects
  2. Loans for ‘investible’ projects to be able to raise enough finance to go ahead
  3. Funding for communities to do climate action that is not ‘investible’ (i.e. doesn’t make money that investors will get back)
  4. Having a say in the governance of City Leap
  5. Opportunity for Bristol residents to invest directly in the City Leap project

More information in this presentation:

We also welcome feedback on these five aims outlined above. Your views will feed in to our recommendations to the City Leap bidders on how they should work with the community. 

We are aware that democracy in city leap means more than the community energy sector having a slice of the pie. This study by Praxis Research explores deeper Democracy in City Leap – you can read the report and watch the presentation and discussion from their website.


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