"Redcliffe Parade in the afternoon light" by marc.barrot
"Redcliffe Parade in the afternoon light" by marc.barrot

Central ward has an estimated population of 23,100 and is one of the largest wards in Bristol. It covers the area between Park Street and Prince Street in the west, Temple Way and Bond Street in the east, Dove Street to the north and Cumberland Road to the south.  These districts are known as the City Centre, Redcliffe, Finzels Reach, Broadmead and Tyndalls Park. Central ward includes the University area around Tyndalls Park, the shopping centres of Cabot Circus and Broadmead, the green space of Castle Park, the new apartments around Bathurst Basin, and significant social housing provision in the tower blocks of Dove Street and Redcliffe. This makes Central ward both socially and environmentally very mixed, with areas of affluence adjacent to areas of relative poverty; e.g. although the ward includes the University area around Tyndalls Park, in other parts of the ward there are above average numbers of children on free school meals.

According to the Bristol City Council ward profile, Central has below average levels of mental wellbeing, above average fear of crime, and above average victims of racial discrimination or harassment in 2021-22. The ward has a significant number of students due to its proximity to Bristol University, and young professionals, most living in private rented accommodation. Only 5 % of the population of Central are children aged between 0 and 15.  A very large number (51%) are aged between 16 and 24.  The ward is also quite racially mixed, with 30% of the population identifying as Indian, Chinese, Asian and Arab.

Key challenges facing the local community in Central are:

  • Air Pollution – this is a major issue for Central ward and much of it is now included in Bristol’s Clean Air Zone, which was implemented in 2022, with the objective of reducing harmful levels of air pollution caused by traffic. It is not the residents of Central ward who create the pollution – car ownership is extremely low (0.55 cars per household).
  • Housing – almost 92 % of the housing is in flats, of which a significantly high proportion (43%) are 1-bedroom flats. 56% of Central residents are in private rented accommodation and 27% live in social rented accommodation. Perhaps linked to this, the lack of green spaces is a matter of local concern.
  • Health – Life expectancy of males is amongst the lowest in Bristol and premature mortality levels are the second highest in Bristol.
  • Crime and Anti-social behaviour –crime offence rates are the highest in Bristol, but this is probably partly linked to the preponderance of nightlife in the ward.
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