Bristol - Learning City!

The City of Bristol has been awarded a UNESCO Learning City Award in recognition of the outstanding progress it has made in developing its learning city agenda.  

Representatives from Bristol accepted the Learning City Award during the third international conference on Learning Cities held in Cork, Ireland, in September 2017. Organised by UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the conference provided the opportunity for 500+ delegates, including city mayors, local government officers, education experts, and international and civil society representatives, to exchange ideas and practice, to strengthen partnerships and build the future of learning cities.

Bristol became England’s first member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in March 2016, joining a global network of like-minded cities championing learning as a way to transform lives, communities, organisations and cities. Some of Bristol’s recent projects include working in partnership with the community interest company, Unique Voice, and launching a book to be used by teachers in early year’s settings and schools to help children understand what it means to be a refugee. The other UK Learning City is Swansea in Wales, which joined the network in 2016 alongside Bristol.

Opening ceremony of the UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities. More than 650 delegates from 92 countries across the world attended the opening day of the UNESCO’s third International Conference on Learning Cities, which opened today in Cork, Ireland. It is the first time that this global UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Conference has been hosted in a European country, so there is great excitement for Ireland and in particular Cork as the world’s top education influencers descend on Cork City Hall from Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th September 2017. For more information on the UNESCO Learning City Award or Third International Conference on Learning Cities go to or keep up to date with live online updates by following #learningcities2017 or check out Facebook page CorkLearning or Twitter @Corklearning.
Picture Darragh Kane

At the conference, the Deputy Mayor of Bristol, Claire Hiscott, showcased what lifelong learning meant to the city and spoke about how Bristol measured the actions of its development plan.

Cllr Claire Hiscott, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Bristol City Council, said:

 “Bristol Learning City has an ambitious vision where all our citizens benefit from our city’s success, where employers have access to a skilled workforce and where everyone is proud to learn throughout their lives. We are proud to receive the UNESCO award in Cork, but for us it is just the beginning. Learning has the power to change lives, open up new opportunities and reduce inequality. By working together to improve access to learning we can continue to build a sustainable city for the future.”

Bristol was one of 16 cities recognised from across the world at the Awards Ceremony in Cork.

Gary Brace, Director for Education at the UK National Commission for UNESCO, said:

We heartily congratulate Bristol on becoming the second city in the UK to be recognised for the exceptional progress it has made as a Learning City. We hope that this will inspire other UK cities to follow Bristol’s example and help grow a UK network committed to lifelong learning and sustainability.”

 You can read more about Learning Cities in the UK here,and the Cork Learning Cities conference here.