First Bus and Bristol Beacon sustainable transport launch; from left: Bristol Beacon’s Ciaran Austin, Rosa Corbishley, Sarah Robertson, and First West of England’s Rob Pymm

Bristol Beacon announces new partnership with First Bus to encourage sustainable travel

The soon-to-be-reopened Bristol Beacon, set to host 800 events a year, is delighted to announce a new partnership with First Bus that will reward concert-goers for travelling sustainably by offering discounted bus travel.

People buying tickets for concerts and other events taking place at Bristol Beacon after it reopens in November will be able to save up to 10% on bus travel.

In addition, First Bus will be supplying free bus travel to around 1,300 primary school children at the 13 schools across the city that participate in Bristol Beacon’s unique ‘Earthsong’ music education programme*.

First Bus and Bristol Beacon will also be working together to promote low carbon travel to the city, whether by bus, train, electric vehicle, bike or on foot.

The new partnership is part of Bristol Beacon’s wider sustainability plans to encourage greener visitor travel, which currently makes up 60% of their overall emissions.

Over the next few months, it will be benchmarking and piloting sustainable travel incentives on five upcoming events as part of the venue’s citywide artistic programme: The Walled Garden Concerts at Belmont Estate, Erland Cooper at Redgrave Theatre, Bristol Beacon’s re-opening party ‘The Housewarming’, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert, and Penguin Café.

The data and feedback from these events will enable the Beacon team, supported by two climate change researchers – Briony Latter from the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations at Cardiff University and independent researcher Adam Corner, funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation – to understand audience travel and set a benchmark target for future events.

Rosa Corbishley, development director and sustainability lead at Bristol Beacon, said: “A key part of the transformation of Bristol Beacon is to use it as an opportunity to become a more sustainable organisation. We know there are many reasons that our visitors aren’t always able to travel here sustainably, including cost, so it’s fantastic to be able to take these steps that will remove some of the barriers and make it easier for people to travel by bus.”

Rob Pymm, commercial director for First West of England, said: “We’re delighted to announce this partnership with Bristol Beacon, which we hope will encourage people to travel more sustainably with First Bus as they visit this fabulous venue.

“We have about 40 services which stop within a short walking distance from Bristol Beacon and run late into the evening, making them an ideal way for people to get home after a show. It gives event-goers the opportunity to make a night of it, have a drink and not have to worry about the stress of driving or finding a parking space.” 

The music charity is aiming to become the first Net Zero concert hall in the UK by 2030 and is making good progress in this direction. It has already reached Net Zero for its direct emissions, which includes running boilers (Scope 1 emissions), and indirect emissions, which includes the electricity it buys for heating or cooling the building (Scope 2 emissions).

The transformed venue will include:

  • - BREEAM “Very Good” certification level
  • - The use of LED lighting throughout, which will save an estimated 114,240 kW of energy, amounting to 51 tonnes of CO2 each year
  • - New photovoltaic panels that will generate 26,000 kWs of energy, saving 11 tonnes of CO2
  • - Ensuring that none of the deconstruction material removed as part of the transformation goes to landfill and that many elements of it are recycled within the building, for example with the reuse of timber floors and panels.

Details of the discounted bus tickets will be announced in the coming months.

Read more about Bristol Beacon’s sustainability ambitions here: