How a pop-up tipi village in Bristol provided work for 100 hospitality and event industry workers during the summer of Covid.
A recent impact report undertaken by the team behind pioneering Bristol tipi village, Breaking Bread, has highlighted the socio-economic and environmental impact of the project within the local hospitality industry.
Breaking Bread was created by festival and event producers Team Love in response to the Covid-19 emergency regulations for the event and hospitality industries. At the beginning of 2020 these industries were worth £100bn (events) and £133.5bn (hospitality), both key players in the UK’s economy and vital to social cohesion. However, reports suggest that at the end of the pandemic we will likely see an estimated 700 000 job losses across the UK’s pub and events industry, with 61 per cent of event businesses believing they’ll cease trading by spring 2021 without any directed help.
The emphasis of this project was to provide a safe outdoor dining experience for people to reconnect with their social environment while keeping the hospitality and event sectors afloat in these challenging times. With resilience at its heart, Team Love re-engaged with its established clientele and invested directly into local partnerships to strengthen an existing chain of local suppliers, contractors, workers and producers.
Breaking Bread launched in July 2020 and featured some of Bristol’s most established hospitality venues; The Pony & Trap, Pasta Loco, The Love Inn and The Pipe and Slippers. It ran up until October of 2020, providing much needed activity for the region’s hospitality industry and supply chains.
Team Love spent the winter months analysing the project impact, ahead of reopening for a 2021 edition with targets for improvements in all areas.
Throughout the three months of Breaking Bread’s operation, the project provided work for over 100 hospitality and event industry workers. Working with a supply chain of around 50 organisations – 36 of which were directly based in Bristol – across the food, drink and events industries.
One of the most illuminating statistics of the report however, is that by taking these 100 staff out of the furlough and Universal Credit process, Breaking Bread saved the government an estimated £220,000 through direct employment.
The project was also a huge benefit to local suppliers with a direct spend with local contractors and suppliers sitting at £561,000.
Project co-founder Josh Eggleton said: “The whole premise of Breaking Bread was to provide a circular economic boost for the region. These kinds of numbers show the potential here. At a time when the UK had nearly 10 million people on furlough, it was crucial financially as well as emotionally to do everything we could to bring that number down.”
Breaking Bread also provided a significant boost for the city’s residents. 37,000 people visited the outdoor restaurants on Bristol’s famous Downs, with Breaking Bread selling out tables for its restaurant and pub gardens months in advance.
Sustainability also played a huge factor in the project. Within the report the team highlighted that of the 16.4 tonnes of CO2 the event emitted, was entirely balanced through global tree planting and land protection initiatives. With the team choosing to work alongside Ecolibrium to achieve this.
Stringent waste management policies saw general waste handled by experts Bristol Waste and food waste managed by Geneco, where waste was sent to an anaerobic digestion plant to be processed and into renewable energy sources and agricultural bio-fertiliser.
Breaking Bread is scheduled for a return in Spring of 2021, with the introduction of more community initiatives including The Team Canteen. Josh explains: “The Team Canteen will be a way of bringing people together through food. A centralised space amongst the tipis which will form the hub of a newly created CIC. It’ll be a fully equipped kitchen capable of providing education, training and food production, which we’ll be making available to local community groups and charities.”
Penny Warner, production lead for the project, said: “Whilst the collaboration came around because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all partners agreed that it was crucial that the operations benefited not just those directly involved but also other partners and people across the city. We realised that in order to evaluate our impact, but to also understand how to improve in the future, we had to collect as much data as possible about the project.
“This report is just the start of how we plan to operate our events in the future, tracking our environmental, community and economic impact so we can put in a process of continual improvement. We’re all passionate about producing experiences which also offer benefit to our city of Bristol, reducing food poverty and creating opportunities for our customers to engage with community projects in a meaningful way.”
The report was authored by Pauline Bourdon, Team Love sustainability coordinator. To view the full results, visit www.breakingbreadbristol.co.uk/impactreport
• £220,000 – the estimated figure the project saved the government furlough schemes and universal credit process
• 100 – the number of people the project employed
• £561,000 – the amount paid to local suppliers and contractors within the project supply chain
• 16.4 tonnes of CO2 balanced through numerous offsetting initiatives
• 36,000 – the number of attendees over three months