Bristol 2015 European Green Capital is today launching the initial programme that brings together the events, projects, summits and conferences that will shape the city’s year in the spotlight and a lasting green legacy. Bristol is the first UK city to be awarded the prestigious title and the programme promises to be the best-funded and most-comprehensive launched by any European Green Capital.

Already featuring 40 entries – from grassroots events in each of Bristol’s neighbourhoods, to projects from world-renowned artists that bring sustainability to life, an international green tech festival, national schools’ programme and wide-reaching volunteer scheme – the 2015 programme is designed to give everyone the chance to get involved in making Bristol an even happier and healthier place to live and work as well as a catalyst for change.

Bristol 2015 Ltd, the organisation set up to facilitate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, is working with two key partners in Bristol City Council and the Green Capital Partnership. Joining them are hundreds of partners and volunteers from across the city, including artist Luke Jerram, Business West and Low Carbon South West, to create the expansive programme that will be added to as the countdown to 2015 continues.

A handful of highlights from the initial programme for Bristol 2015 include:

  • Greentech Camp (March) – The camp will provide children and teenagers the opportunity to learn about and explore how technology can be used for green goals.
  • Filwood Green Business Park launch (March) – marking the city’s first BREEAM outstanding-rated business park and providing space for new and existing companies to set up shop in South Bristol, aiming to create around 350 new jobs.
  • Bristol Blue Whale (opens April 2015) – people from across the city can help to create a life-size ‘sculpture’ of a Blue Whale made from recycled materials. The Blue Whale will present the beauty of ocean life, and the growing human threats it faces.
  • Bristol 2015 Youth Summit (April) – bringing together the next generation for TED-style presentations, debates and workshops, followed by a rally on Earth Day (22nd April) that will send to a message from the young people of Bristol to the world.
  • Solar Balloon (Aug) – Cameron Balloons will unveil the world’s first modern solar powered balloon to launch at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
  • Community Tree Planting Week (Nov) – to mark National Tree Week, Bristol’s Tree Pips scheme will run a special community planting week where it will aim to plant as many trees as possible. Overall the scheme will see 36,000 new trees in Bristol by spring 2016.
  • Festival of Future Cities (Nov) – drawing commissioned writers, artists, filmmakers, poets, architects and others to the city. The festival will seek to bring together all the lessons learned during the year.

New project details will be added throughout the year.

As part of this, Bristol 2015 is inviting community groups, local businesses and voluntary organisations to join forces and become an official part of the city’s year as European Green Capital. From today, the programme can be added to by individual groups and organisations, meaning as many people as possible can get involved in 2015 – not just in attending events or taking advantage of projects, but by creating their own.

The full programme of activity is available to view on the Events section of this website. To register an event or project as part of the Bristol 2015 programme go to our Get Involved page.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is a great start. It is an initial programme which really gives people a feel for what to expect during our year as European Green Capital. We’re talking new jobs, exciting events, long-lasting environmental projects, better environmental education, more energy efficiency offers, more protection for green spaces and on-going improvements in our transport infrastructure.

“What you see today is only the beginning of what will be a city wide set of initiatives. There will be many more announcements to come, each adding something special to the comprehensive programme. Now that we’re inviting others to take part we can also expect hundreds of community events planned through the members of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, local businesses, voluntary organisations, community groups and individuals. 2015 is already looking special, and will be further enriched by more and more individual and community initiatives. I have no doubt that Bristol will be the most extensive and engaging Green Capital that Europe’s yet seen.”

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015, commented: “Throughout next year, Bristol will be home to a wide-reaching programme of activities and events that will showcase Bristol’s achievements and ambition. Today we have announced the initial programme which will grow over the year. There will be opportunities for all individuals, communities and organisations of all sizes to get involved and now we’re calling on the city to get behind the year by adding their own events to the programme too.”

To keep up to date on all the latest news and events from Bristol 2015 you can also follow Bristol2015 on Twitter or join the conversation on Facebook