BID Updates - Protecting

Working together to welcome Bristol’s students back to the city

Find out how we are supporting students.



As Freshers Week kicks off, here’s an update on all of the activities we have delivered and continue to deliver, to welcome students to the city. Bristol, as one of the most popular university cities in the UK, has welcomed tens of thousands of students to the city centre and across our communities. Our unrivalled cultural scene, nightlife, brilliantly performing universities and colleges are all factors that make a university career here outstanding. 

As a Business Improvement District (BID), our role is to support our levy paying businesses and help to make the city centre environment as wonderful to spend time in as possible – as well as keeping students and our wider community safe whilst enjoying all that it has to offer.

We’ve worked with Bristol 247 to provide students with a low down on where to shop, eat, and have a good night out. We’ve also given away 100 Love Bristol Gift Cards, which can be spent at shops and venues across the city. 

Similarly, we also help to make sure that Bristol’s venues are equipped with both the tools and the resources to help ensure that students and our wider community can have both a fun and safe night out. Below are the campaigns we have delivered and supported, which help businesses to keep our students and our wider community safe. Alongside those outlined, we are always on the hunt to source and explore additional resources and support options to enhance the safety and vibrancy of Bristol’s nightlife.



We all love a dip every now and again, but our work as part of the Bristol Water Safety Partnership reminds us of the importance of not getting into the water at the harbourside, unless through the supervised ‘Swim Bristol Harbour’ project.  

Working closely with Bristol Nights, Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Police, our water safety campaign spreads the word about keeping everyone safe.

Everything from low temperature, poor water quality and lack of ladders, to strong currents and submerged objects all pose a real risk to safety. More than 45 signs have been placed throughout the harbourside and wider city centre to remind us all of the risks. We have worked closely with our stakeholders to create extensive guidelines about what to do if someone goes in the water, to aim to ensure the safety of all. If you do see someone in the water away from the Swim Bristol Harbour project, please call 999 immediately.

We also offer opportunities for throwline training through Avon Fire & Rescue Service, so do get in touch with us Louisa if this is something you’d be interested in finding out more about for your team.

Combatting Drink Spiking

Alongside the teams at Bristol Nights, Avon and Somerset Police and Bristol City Council, we spearheaded a city-wide Drink Spiking campaign back in 2021 to tackle drink spiking in Bristol venues. 

So far, more than 500 free spiking test kits have been delivered to more than 160 night-time spots. Understanding drink spiking is crucial to preventing it, and as such, we also offer informative posters and venue guides that we print and distribute to our night-time economy venues free of charge alongside free testing kits. If you would like to request a venue guide or testing kits for your venue, please contact

Harm Reduction – Drugs and Alcohol

We aim to equip our venues with the knowledge to handle situations involving drug overdoses or unconscious individuals. As such we supported the Bristol Nights Harm Reduction campaign, which provides a clear, human-centred and non-judgmental guide to provide staff in Bristol’s night-time sector with the knowledge needed to ensure they prioritise harm reduction from drugs and alcohol. 

After extensive consultation, a handbook was devised to educate night-time workers on how to keep their audiences safe and move on from the ‘zero tolerance’ approach to substance use. 

These handbooks were distributed to more than 250 night-time operators in Bristol alongside posters in venues, a collaborative social media campaign and billboards to spread awareness. Should you wish to request a comprehensive handbook and quick reference pull-out guide, please contact Bristol Nights.

Women’s Safety Charter

We have teamed up with Bristol Nights to train almost 500 bar, club, restaurant and other night-time economy venue workers to deal with any instances of sexual harassment they may witness. 

This crucial work is ensuring that Bristol is a zero tolerance city to sexual harassment. The Women’s Safety Charter with Bristol Nights – which encourages venues to sign up to seven key commitments in terms of safety of women in the night-time economy – will also re-launch this winter so please keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, we encourage you to stay connected through our channels for updates as well as the opportunity to sign up to the Women’s Safety Charter. There will also be the opportunity to sign up to the Safety of Women at Night training, which has so far seen a hugely positive response from our night-time economy businesses. 

We look forward to working with you further to help to keep our city centre both thriving as well as safe for all.



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