The Joshua Trust was set up informally many years ago as a vehicle to promote the amazing transformation that a major tourist attraction, in South Bristol, could have on the lives on those people living in South Bristol.
Apart from the vision to see major employment located in South Bristol, The Joshua Trust has been supporting a wide range of projects in South Bristol including youth work, parenting courses, initiatives to help ex-offenders, asylum seekers, healthy eating, food banks and more.
The difference between the North and South side of the city in terms of wealth, health and local facilities are considerable, with deprivation levels in the South being among the highest in the UK.
A major tourist attraction based in the middle of such deprivation would have the ability to reduce this disparity. Joshua Trust was set up to promote this vision.
As a Christian charity, we are particularly keen to see certain concepts as part of this project:
1. Jobs for those who otherwise would not find employment.
2. Levels of pay (or schemes) which provide a way out of state dependency and lead to greater self-esteem and satisfaction.
3. Training to support job opportunities so that people can progress.
4. A percentage of profits returned to the community through this Christian Charity.
Humberts Leisure, commissioned by Bristol City Council ran a feasibility study on the creation of a major tourist attraction and found that such a proposal was not only viable but could generate up to 3,000 new jobs.
The closure of the Wills Cigarette factory in 1990 was a major blow to Hartcliffe and Knowle West. It was the largest cigarette factory in Europe employing 5000 people.
Bristol Local Plan 2011 (1) and the recent West of England Economic needs assessment report 2015 highlights the shortage of employment opportunities in South Bristol. The Bristol Core Strategy, states that South Bristol will be developed as a counterpoint to the rapidly developing north and will focus on Hengrove Park and Knowle West. Page 35 reads “The revitalisation of South Bristol will help address imbalances in employment opportunities and travel to work patterns across the city which have arisen following extensive development on the north fringe of the Bristol urban area. The new sources of employment that are planned for South Bristol will increase the number of job opportunities, especially high value-added jobs, available to residents in the south of the city”.
WECA report November 2015, Economic Development Needs Assessment states “South Bristol and Fringe is a relatively deprived area within the WoE context and has a relative dearth of employment space, despite being well located near the Bristol urban area and close to Bristol Airport. This situation represents a degree of market failure. To address this issue there is potential to stimulate demand through investment in key infrastructure and planning policy for additional employment land provision.”
Data from the Office of National Statistics 2018, reveals that 25% of children living in Council or housing association property have no adults that work in their home. 75% of children from families where no one works failed to reach the expected level at GCSE compared to 50% of children in lower-income working families.
According to Quartet Vital Signs 2016 (2), South Bristol ranks second worst in the UK for its young people going on to higher education. Data collected in November 2016 based on tax credits identified that the average percentage of children in low income families is Bristol is 27.76%. The top five wards with highest levels of child poverty include Knowle West 39.76% and Hartcliffe/Withywood 38.99%. The best five wards with lowest child poverty were all in North Bristol.
2 DEGREES PROJECT
Joshua Trust has been promoting this project as a possible means of making South Bristol a destination and thus a more favourable place to live but also for other employers to be located here.
The vision behind the 2 degrees project is that at least 25% of the project is owned by a Charitable social enterprise. This would ensure that local residents had favourable entry prices, jobs for local people at real living wage not minimum wage, apprenticeships and profits into a community fund. The Social enterprise would work other local organisations such as the Prince’s Trust to give young people a hope and a future.
The 2 degrees idea is based around a large indoor water park with a second cold dome offering winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing and ice skating. It would include some shops and restaurants and be very green with energy transfer from the cold to hot dome. It would have the longest ski slope in Europe and be a unique attraction in the UK.
The Festival’s aim was to bring about social transformation in South Bristol and inspire young people from outside the area to give there time and skills to those less able than themselves and in the process generate a great family festival. The aim also included strengthening existing projects and initiatives with long-term regeneration in mind.
A hundred projects were completed by over 750 enthusiastic volunteers. Each day the delegates enjoyed a great programme of seminars, worship, Bible teaching and prayer. On two evenings there were special celebrations.
About 10,000 people visited the festival site in the course of the five-day event and about 6,000 attended the Sunday festival day. There had been few projects on this scale in South Bristol before and its success was a tribute to all the dedicated volunteers who made it happen.
There was an Extreme Zone located on the Skate Park adjacent to a play area and in the Sport Zone young people took part in coaching, matches and demonstration relating to football, cricket, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee. Local sports stars gave time to making this zone very special. There was a Creative Zone, Family Zone and Community Zone all providing entertainment, opportunities for participation and a sense of community interaction which is rare these days. Many more projects were included which made a long-term impact on the locality raising the profile of an area in which many live who feel excluded from mainstream society.
LOVE BRISTOL STORIES
‘Local youth felt they were worthwhile with such high-quality work being done’.
- Hareclive Youth Project.
‘It has made a real difference to the residents’ environment and has got them talking to each other more’.
- Priory Youth Housing.