City Spotlight: A Quick Guide to Franchising in Bristol

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Interested in franchising in Bristol? We’ve created this franchise guide to shine a light on the local business landscape and the industries leading the way in the South West.

The largest city in the South West of England, Bristol is home to an impressive array of pioneering businesses and research institutions. It’s also just a 40-minute drive away from Bath, so the two cities are often tied together in discussions. The region as a whole has a million residents and over 43,000 businesses generating £33 billion for the UK economy. 

An overview of Bristol

Bristol’s population has an average age of 39.5, just slightly lower than the UK average of 40.3. As a result, 63.8 percent of people are of working age, compared to 62.3 percent in England and Wales. Salaries in the region range between £35,300 in North Somerset and £39,000 in central Bristol, just above the £38,600 UK average. 

In keeping with property trends in the South West, Bristol’s house prices are above average for the UK, reaching £315,000, compared to £303,000 in other areas. There’s an average of 2.36 residents per household. 

Bristol has two leading educational institutions: the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. When combined with Bath University and Bath Spa University, the region produces 10,000 graduates every year. In fact, Bristol and Bath has the most skilled workforce of any core city region in England, and a higher employment rate than any other major city. 

In central Bristol, you’ll also find SETsquared, the best university incubator in the world. 

Those who work in Bristol can travel to nearby locations easily. The city links up to key motorways and railways, so you can get to Paddington Station in London by train in under an hour and three quarters. Cardiff and the Midlands are also within easy reach by car. 

For international travel, Bristol Airport provides access to a huge number of destinations, with more than 100 flights on offer every day. 

Running your own business in Bristol

Bristol has a thriving job market and, when combined with Bath, one of the strongest economies in Europe. Here are some of the leading industries in the region, which you might like to consider when franchising in Bristol: 

  • Aerospace and advanced engineering - Bristol is famous for its history in the aerospace sector. It’s the UK home of Concorde, as well as Airbus and Rolls Royce facilities, and leads the way in terms of innovation. In fact, 14 of the top 15 international aerospace companies have a presence in the region. Overall, the industry is worth £7 billion and employs 98,000 people in Bristol and Bath. 

  • Digital - Bristol’s universities have played a big part in developing new technologies, and regularly collaborate with businesses across the life sciences, cyber security and robotics sectors. In 2018, the University of Bristol Smart Lab completed the first public 5G trial in the world. Dyson, Just Eat and Oracle all have offices in Bristol. 

  • Creative - There are over 130 production companies in Bristol and Bath, a region known for its creative talent. The area is home to one of the BBC’s three centres and Channel 4’s Creative Hub. Impressively, more than 800 million people watch content created in Bristol and Bath every month, and 35 percent of natural history programming across the world is produced in the region. Aardman Animations, which developed Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, is also based in Bristol. 

  • Energy - Bristol has a strong background in waste-to-energy and biomass projects, and works in areas including nuclear new build, nuclear generation, nuclear decommissioning and defence. It’s also developed a fleet of electric buses and uses academic research to further progress. EDF Energy, Bristol Energy and Ovo all have offices in the region. 

  • Professional services - Bristol is an attractive place for companies in the financial sector, in particular. KPMG, Deloitte, Lloyds, AXA, Royal Sun Alliance and NatWest have all chosen to set up in the region, alongside more than 250 other business services companies. Lloyds alone employs 3,500 people in the area. 

Bristol and Bath is one of the UK’s most productive financial and professional services city regions outside London, employing over 33,500 people.
— CityUK

Franchising in Bristol

If you’re considering franchising in Bristol, you’ll never be far from like-minded entrepreneurs and inspiring industry leaders. The region’s focus on professional services, in particular, makes it a fantastic place for running a franchise business, as finance is a thriving sector in the franchising world. 

There’s a huge variety of franchises looking to enter the Bristol economy, as well as several business conferences to support entrepreneurs making a name for themselves. The Business Showcase South West is one of the biggest events in the local calendar. It’s held twice a year at Ashton Gate Stadium, welcoming more than 250 exhibitors - and tickets don’t cost a penny. 

The South West Business Expo is also a great opportunity to network in your industry. It opens its doors to more than a thousand SMEs from across the region, and organises keynote speeches and Q&A workshops. 

If you’re passionate about running your own business in Bristol, the franchise industry can help you achieve your dream. Kick-start your journey to entrepreneurship by browsing current opportunities for franchising in Bristol

You can also find out more about the business model and how you can get involved in the industry with our extensive selection of franchise guides. They cover everything from finding the perfect opportunity to preparing for retirement.  

*Statistics taken from and

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