Sparks Bristol to celebrate first anniversary with a two-day party

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
May 13 will mark one year since the unique sustainable department store, education and arts hub opened its doors in the empty M&S building

Next month marks one year since the empty Broadmead M&S building was transformed into a unique sustainable department store, education and arts hub by local charities Artspace Lifespace and Global Goals Centre.

They envisioned Sparks Bristol as a welcoming space for educating and supporting people to improve climate and social impacts in everyday life, through sustainable shopping, energy and travel advice, education and creative and practical skills workshops.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Since, the venue has welcomed over 490,000 visitors, supported 172 local independent ethical traders and inspired 2,529 children and young people through educational workshops.

To celebrate, Sparks Bristol will be hosting a First Anniversary party on May 11 and 12, which falls on World Fairtrade Day.

On May 11, the venue will host a Nicaraguan Fairtrade farmer at the Fair and Fabulous afternoon tea, where guests can enjoy food and drinks tastings from local, ethical food suppliers and learn why producing good food is so important for our health and the health of the planet. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and can be booked here.

It’s been a year since Sparks Bristol opened. To celebrate, the sustainable venue will beholding a 2-day party on May 11 and 12. Credit: JonCraigPhotosIt’s been a year since Sparks Bristol opened. To celebrate, the sustainable venue will beholding a 2-day party on May 11 and 12. Credit: JonCraigPhotos
It’s been a year since Sparks Bristol opened. To celebrate, the sustainable venue will beholding a 2-day party on May 11 and 12. Credit: JonCraigPhotos | JonCraigPhotos

Free music events will be taking place on the first floor, including a Karaoke and open mic session hosted by record breaker Ian Gilson from midday and from 4pm, DJs Josephine Gyasi and Booty Basser Ngaio, whose second single from their EP drops on May 2, will be raising the roof.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There will also be a giant interactive birthday cake made from recycled materials as well as free activities, drop-in clothing mending workshops, family-friendly life drawing classes, zine-making using recycled materials in “waste is a lack of creativity” workshops and behind-the-scenes tours. The first-floor Department of Imagination will also be open with an exhibition and pop-up art sale from Artspace Lifespace artist studio holders.

Aidbox Community will also be at the party collecting any clothes, toiletries, sanitary items, small electrical items and other essentials donated to support refugees in Bristol.

Jenny Foster, Co-founder of Sparks “We’re so excited to be celebrating our first birthday! We love that Sparks has become a place of welcome for so many people in the city, as well as other towns and cities visiting to see how they can use our model to bring climate and social benefit into their own high streets. Here’s to the next year!”

Kathryn Chiswell Jones of Artspace Lifespace and co-founder of Sparks, shared: “With Sparks we wanted to showcase what the high street could look like if independent makers, creatives, community and sustainability were at the heart of placemaking. We absolutely couldn’t have made Sparks happen without our partners and the huge swell of support we have had from across the city, and our first anniversary celebrations are a way to say thank you and invite our supporters and the city to come and see what they helped create”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sparks have many creative ideas to help Bristol towards its goal of becoming net zero by 2030. They rely on public and private donations, if you’d like to be part of this ground-breaking project, please head to sparksbristol.co.uk/donate.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.