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The West of England is a loose and locationally unspecific term sometimes given to the area surrounding the City and County of Bristol, England, and also sometimes applied more widely and in other parts of South West England.

Contents

Use in the Bristol area

The term is increasingly used - for example by the West of England Partnership[1], Connexions West of England[2], and the West of England Sport Trust[3] - as a synonym for the former Avon area, which existed as a local government unit between 1974 and 1996.

According to the West of England Partnership website,

"The West of England is a prosperous area with an excellent quality of life and a growing national and international profile. However, rapid growth means that the sub-region faces increasing pressure on its infrastructure, and it is still the case that there are too many neighbourhoods that do not share in its prosperity. The West of England Partnership was formed in response to these opportunities and challenges. It consists of four unitary authorities - Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire - and a range of social, economic and environmental partners. The Partnership is driving forward action to sustain prosperity and quality of life and to enhance the confidence of public and private investors. Particular attention is being given to transport, appropriate housing supply, economic competitiveness and inclusion, and culture, leisure and tourism."[1]

Specifically, the term is also used by the University of the West of England, the Royal West of England Academy[4], and by voluntary groups and clubs such as the West of England Bridge Club[5], all of which are based in or near Bristol.

Use more widely in South West England

The term "West of England" is also often used more widely to include the counties of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire; sometimes extending to Devon and Dorset. These counties also form part of the South West of England, a region which additionally includes Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which are in fact the most westerly parts of England.

It is also used by various organisations across the South West, such as the West of England School and College for blind and visually impaired children[6], based near Exeter, and the West of England Transport Collection[7], at Winkleigh, Devon.

See also

References

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