Bags of Help

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The scheme sees three community groups and projects in each of around 200 Tesco regions awarded grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 1 to 31 December on who should receive the £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 awards.

A “Stone Bridges: Heritage & Future” project has been submitted to the Bags of Help scheme and selected for customer vote during December 2016 in the following Tesco stores in Bristol.

  • Clifton Regent St Express, 32 And 34 Regent St, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4HU
  • Clifton Express, 169a Whiteladies Rd, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2RL
  • Henleaze Esso Express, 142 Henleaze Rd, Henleaze, Bristol, BS9 4NB
  • Westbury On Trym Express, 77 Westbury Hill, Westbury On Trym, BS9 3AD
  • Bishopston Express, 171 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8BE
  • Bristol Filton Esso Express, 73-75 Gloucester Rd North, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7PL
  • Bristol Filton Ave Express, 390 Filton Ave, Bristol, BS7 0LJ
  • Lime Trees Rd Superstore, off Kellaway Avenue, Lime Trees Rd, Bristol, BS6 7XW
  • Bristol Trymwood Parade Express, Shirehampton Rd, Bristol BS9 2DP


To vote, you will need to make a purchase within store of any value. You will receive one token per transaction and it’s not necessary to purchase a carrier bag in order to receive a token.


*** Planning permission granted ***

The planning committee voted for granting planning permission for a classical bridge in Bristol on the 13 July 2016. The bridge will provide great improvements for pedestrians and cyclists at a busy and dangerous junction and would allow people with physical disabilities for the first time to fully enjoy the Downs.

The bridge will be a wonderful contribution to the area and become an added site of interest along the unique circular walk around the Downs. The bridge will be almost entirely hidden within the valley and natural landscape and offer a new experience of a canopy walk through the woodlands.

This is the first time that a large stone bridge has been approved for construction during the past 100 years. Granting planning permission represents a new era for masonry arch bridge construction in the UK and Europe.

The project will offer opportunities for relearning the art of building masonry bridges, create jobs, provide training opportunities, apprenticeship programmes, create local income generation opportunities and involve arts and heritage. Local community involvement will be an integral part of the construction.

The next task is to finalise the planning conditions with Bristol City Council and set up an independent charity for the construction. Fundraising can only start after that.

The initiative is not only about building a bridge over Bridge Valley Road, but about a much larger vision to leave a legacy in Bristol and be an inspiration for generations to come.

Thank you for all those who have supported the application.


Planning application resubmitted

The planning application for a classical stone bridge near the top of Bridge Valley Road was resubmitted on the 5 March 2016. Once the application is registered, we are planning to organise a series of public events to provide information and gather feedback. Details of the proposal are included in the ‘Proposed design’ section.

Planing application to be resubmitted early 2016

We are currently carrying out further consultation with user groups, e.g. disabilities. While the bridge would be a great help to pedestrians and cyclists, it would make an enormous difference to people using wheelchairs or have limited vision. The steep approach and difficult crossing from Ladies Mile excludes a lot of people from accessing the Downs and act as physical and mental barriers.

The application is not a commercial one, but is representing user-groups. We are planning to organise a series of information events and resubmit the planning application early 2016. Support from user groups and individuals would make a great difference for the success of the application.

In terms of funding, we will need to raise the full cost of the bridge. We believe this is possible, as the project is a highly unique one and has already received notable recognition in Bristol and further afield. We do not want any money at the moment. Funding is a story to be pursued once planning application is granted…

If you would like to get in touch you can email us on

Planning application withdrawn, to be resubmitted…

After the planning application was submitted to Bristol City Council in April 2015, they informed us that they were waiting for an independent report related to the Downs and were not making any decision until the report becomes available (expected towards the end of 2015). They suggested the application to be withdrawn and requested some further information.

We are hoping to resubmit the application early in 2016. We are also hoping to organise another information day and talks early 2016 to introduce updates on the proposal to anyone interested.

Planning permission submitted for Bristol City Council

The planning application for a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the top of Bride Valley Road has been submitted to Bristol City Council.

The bridge would offer safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at a dangerous junction at the top of Bridge Valley Road, near the Zoo.

To be appropriate for the location and reflect the architectural style in Clifton, a classical stone bridge was selected. The bridge is designed to last 300+ years, require minimal maintenance, be viable to build and highly sustainable on the short and long-term.