Mayor Marvin Rees: 'City is walking a tightrope' with University


By Maddy Russell, News Editor

The Councillors have urged Mayor Marvin Rees to take up the problem with 11 other large city councils across the UK, who are experiencing similar difficulties.

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has said that Bristol is one of many cities which are ‘walking a tight rope’ of ensuring the benefits of its University outweigh its costs.

The Mayor’s comments were made in response to criticism of the University of Bristol from city councillors, as its charitable status means it is exempt from paying over £5 million in local business rates.

As an unregistered charity, the University is given an 80 per cent discount off the retail value of all its buildings due to its educational contribution to the local community.

In December 2019 the University was excused from paying £5.1 million of the £6.2 million it owed in business rates, due to its charitable status.

In response to the criticism, the University said that it contributed £918 million to the area’s economic output in 2017/18 and supported £215 million in tax revenues.

This follows a report by Epigram in October that the University’s plans for new student housing in the Temple Quarter had drawn criticism from local campaigners.

Featured Image: Epigram/James Cleaver

Do you think the University is doing enough for the local community? Let us know.