Our international strategy, our global ambitions, and how we're planning to achieve them.

Bristol is a city made up of diverse communities with links to many countries around the world. 

Our citizens:

  • come from 187 countries
  • speak 91 languages
  • practise at least 45 religions

According to the 2021 census, 18.8% of our citizens were born outside the UK. Bristol has a growing international reputation as a sustainable, innovative, inclusive and diverse place.

Bristol is: 

  • a City of Sanctuary, welcoming and supporting refugees and asylum seekers
  • a UNESCO Learning City, promoting learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds
  • a UNESCO City of Film, a permanent global status that recognises the city's achievements as a world leader in the field of film and moving image
  • twinned with seven cities around the world building cultural, educational, research and international development relationships
  • one of the first cities in the world to assess our progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • demonstrating our commitment to tackling social, economic and environmental issues 
    • helping us communicate our work internationally with other cities, multilateral organisations, and investors, and with communities and young people in the city through the Global Goals Centre
  • one of the first cities in the UK to become a Living Wage City 
  • the first UK city to declare climate and ecological emergencies, and in 2020 launched:

Bristol has also been:

Our international Strategy 

Our International Strategy, pdf Bristol: Global City (4.78 MB) , works out where the priorities of the council and city partners align. This helps provide a coordinated and strategic approach to developing relationships and business links internationally.

It helps us recognise, value and share the contribution that our citizens with diverse international heritage bring to our global city, through working, living and sharing together; strengthening our social, cultural, educational and business opportunities.

Our goal

Our goal is to work with the world for local and global benefit, achieving our vision of a stronger, more inclusive city, and providing leadership on the global development goals.

We want: 

  • to lead on shared global values and development goals, such as inclusivity, sustainability and resilience
  • to be a stronger, just, green and blue economy, and an international gateway to the UK
  • our international communities to link Bristol to the world, creating a vibrant, cohesive and welcoming city, and bringing opportunities for culture, business and education
  • strong city voices in international processes (a global agenda working with national and international partner cities)

How we work

We develop collaborative relationships with other cities and global city networks such as: 

Through these networks we raise the voice of cities in international negotiations for example on the climate emergency and migration. 

We partner to:

  • raise the profile of cities being proactive on global challenges
  • access international funding
  • gain new insights into how peer cities around the world tackle the challenges we face

We also work closely with global institutions such as:

International Ambassadors programme 

Our International Ambassadors programme aims to strengthen existing connections and develop new opportunities to partner with cities across the globe that face similar challenges to Bristol. 

The current International Ambassadors are: 

  • Fuad Mahamed, CEO of ACH
  • Marti Burgess, lawyer and Chair of Black South West Network
  • Dr Mena Fombo, Founder and Director of Black Girl Convention
  • Silas Adekunle, Co-Founder and CEO of R.I.
  • Dr Carolyn Hassan, Founder and Director of Knowle West Media Centre
  • DJ Bunjy, Co-Founder, Laid Blak
  • Chris Sanigar, professional manager, trainer and boxing promotor
  • Helen Cole, Founder, Artistic Director and Co-CEO of In Between Time
  • Shawn Sobers, Professor and Director of the Critical Race and Culture Research Group at the University of the West of England
  • Ellis Genge, England international and Bristol Bears rugby player
  • Muna Abdi, Director of Primeway Care
  • Dr Rӑzvan U Constantinescu MBE, Founder of ‘From Bristol, With Love'
  • Professor Leon Tikly, Professor in Education at the University of Bristol

Contact us

Contact the International Affairs team at international@bristol.gov.uk