New Bristol Balloon takes to the skies at Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Issue date: 04 August 2015

The Bristol Balloon flying in a blue sky

UWE Bristol and Business West will unveil the new Bristol Balloon, with Don Cameron MBE at the helm for its maiden flight, at this weekend's 37th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (6-9 August 2015) at Ashton Court Estate.

Celebrating Bristol's tradition as the capital of ballooning, the iconic Bristol Balloon has been recommissioned by UWE Bristol and Business West to promote Bristol as one of the most liveable cities in Europe and best place to invest, study, visit and run a business. It further demonstrates how business and UWE Bristol are working closely together.

Manufactured in Bedminster, South Bristol by Cameron Balloons, the world's largest hot air balloon manufacturer, the new design for the envelope replaces 'Bridgit' the Bristol City Balloon that, after 13 years and nearly 400 hours of good service promoting the city locally and overseas, was in need of repair.

The three sided balloon retains its distinctive colour of 'Bristol Blue' in honour of another of Bristol's iconic products. The Bristol Balloon will be unveiled at the traditional evening balloon glow on Thursday 6 August, before embarking on its maiden flight at Friday's 06.00 morning mass ascent. Guests on board will be the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Claire Campion-Smith, piloted by Don Cameron with Bristol Balloon's resident pilot, Derek Maltby.

Hannah Cameron, Director of Cameron Balloons, said, “We have been delighted to work on the new iconic Bristol Balloon. It will be a real pleasure to see it taking its maiden voyage at the Fiesta with Don at the helm.”

James Durie, Executive Director - Bristol Chamber & West of England Initiative, part of Business West, said, “We are delighted to be launching this new Bristol Balloon with our partners UWE Bristol, to help promote the city and region as such a great place for business, visitors and students. We wanted to see this reflected in the new Bristol Balloon which will be a great ambassador for inward investment to the city. It's great to be able to launch it at the Bristol Fiesta which is such an important event for the city.”

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the West of England Initiative at Business West, said, “Our strong association with the business community in Bristol is represented by this balloon. The contribution we provide via students, graduates and staff and the benefit we derive from our city region is to be celebrated.”

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is a world-class hot air ballooning festival and one of the UK's top five outdoor events. The annual free festival will see over 130 hot air balloons take off from Ashton Court Estate at dawn and dusk, and light up the skies at night with evening balloon glows.

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