George Ferguson (architect)
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|Ferguson presenting his mayoral manifesto in 2012|
|1st Mayor of Bristol|
19 November 2012
|Born||George Robin Paget Ferguson
22 March 1947
Winchester, Hampshire, England
|Political party||Liberal (1970–1988)
Liberal Democrats (1988–2012)
|Children||Alice, John and Corinna|
|Alma mater||Wellington College, Berkshire
(independent boarding school)
University of Bristol
|Occupation||Politician, Architect, cultural entrepreneur|
George Robin Paget Ferguson CBE, PPRIBA, RWA (born 22 March 1947) is a British architect and the first elected Mayor of Bristol (2012 – ), who has made a significant contribution to architecture, town planning and design in the South West of England and Europe.
Ferguson read architecture at the University of Bristol from 1965 to 1971. Ferguson was co-founder of Ferguson Mann Architects in 1978 and founded the national UK wide network of practices, Acanthus, in 1986. He has a wide variety of experience in architectural, master-planning and regeneration projects, commencing with regeneration and historic building work that formed the foundation of the practice. This includes many award winning schemes such as the At-Bristol Millennium project with its new urban spaces, Royal William Yard in Plymouth and his Tobacco Factory mixed use project, including the renowned Tobacco Factory Theatre and other creative activities that have helped kick start the regeneration of South Bristol. Ferguson lives at the top of the building.
Ferguson was educated at Wellington College, a boarding independent school for boys (now co-educational), in the village of Crowthorne in Berkshire, followed by the University of Bristol from 1965–1971, where he read architecture and obtained three degrees, including an Honours degree.
Life and career
Ferguson has been described as "a prime mover for change in attitude to planning and redevelopment in the South West region and beyond." Ferguson has been awarded honorary degrees from the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. Ferguson was appointed High Sheriff of Bristol when that office was revived in 1996 and served for one year. He is a past president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2003–2005). when "he was noted for championing the causes of education, the environment and good urbanism." He writes, broadcasts and lectures on planning and architectural matters and sustainability, and was a presenter on the 2005 Channel 4 television series Demolition. He is amongst many other things a trustee of the London based think tank Demos and his interests include local food (he has a restaurant and brewery), theatre, and travel. He was a founding director of The Academy of Urbanism. He was a founding member of sustainable transport charity Sustrans. He is noted for always wearing red trousers.
The Tobacco Factory
Ferguson bought the last remaining building of the old Wills Tobacco Raleigh Road Works in, Southville, Bristol, when the rest was demolished in 1996. It is now a multi-use building housing a performance venue, performing arts school, restaurant, café bar, and apartments.
Inspired by the Manchester Independents campaign, Ferguson launched a Bristol-based campaign from the Tobacco Factory. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage the support and patronage of independent outlets and businesses to help redress the balance that has swung strongly in favour of chains at the expense of local character and enterprise. Business at the Tobacco Factory epitomises this, with home grown enterprises such as design agency Fanatic, software company CLIK, and Teoh's restaurant trading there.
Ferguson also owns The Bristol Beer Factory, located in the former Ashton Gate Brewery near to The Tobacco Factory. It manufactures several award-winning ales which it supplies to the Tobacco Factory bar as well as other local outlets. In autumn 2009 a new 90 seat performance space and rehearsal facilities were opened there. He has another bar on a converted barge called 'The Grain Barge' in Hotwells.
In April 2012, Ferguson confirmed speculation that he was planning to be an independent candidate for Mayor of Bristol. Bristol voted in favour of an elected mayor and there was an election on 15 November 2012.
In May 2012, Ferguson resigned his membership of the Liberal Democrat party shortly before announcing that he would stand for mayor.
On 16 November 2012, Ferguson was declared Bristol's first elected mayor, beating the second-place Labour candidate Marvin Rees by more than 6,000 votes.
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