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West of England facts for kids

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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.

Use in the Bristol area

The term has been used since the 1990s by organisations such as the West of England Partnership, Connexions West of England, and the West of England Sport Trust, as a synonym for the former Avon area, which existed as a local government unit between 1974 and 1996. Some aspects of transport planning and policy are coordinated using the TravelPlus (or Travel +) logo.

The West of England Combined Authority is a forthcoming combined authority for the area, intended to comprise the local authorities of the Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset authorities, though North Somerset have declined to participate. The combined authority will be led by a Mayor, with the first election in May 2017. The government's stated vision is to create a "Western Powerhouse" analogous to the government's Northern Powerhouse concept. It is said that the proposal could bring nearly £1 billion of investment to the region.

The term is also used by the University of the West of England, the Royal West of England Academy, and by voluntary groups and clubs such as the West of England Bridge Club, 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, based near Exeter, and the West of England Transport Collection, at Winkleigh, Devon.

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