Friends and Partnerships

The Society of Merchant Venturers strives to achieve a series of ambitious and wide-reaching objectives, in order to be successful we recognise the importance of collaboration. We are enormously grateful to the Society’s Friends, a group of individuals who give a great deal of their time to support our work, and to the organisations who partner with us on specific initiatives in order to deliver the greatest benefit to the people of greater Bristol.

The Friends are a group of inspiring individuals who give their time, energy and enthusiasm, as well as their skills, expertise and experience, to support the Society’s activities. They share our passion to improve educational attainment and give the young people in our schools the best possible start in life; they recognise the need for quality care provision for older people, particularly those who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged; and they support us with our social business activity, as well as many of our other charitable activities.

If you would like to know more about how to become a Friend of SMV, please contact

The Society of Merchant Venturers has always worked in close partnership with others across the greater Bristol area to support activities that help to create a better place to live and work for all, in particular those most at disadvantage. Examples of current partnerships include:

  • Together with the University of Bristol we jointly sponsor our academy schools through Venturers Trust. We work with a diverse group of communities, supporting young students to have the best possible educational experience to prepare them for life as global citizens.
  • Together with Bristol City Council we jointly manage the Downs. A partnership that was established in 1861 under an Act of Parliament, we work to protect the Downs for the enjoyment and use of the people of Bristol and beyond.
  • Together with the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, Bath Spa University, Bristol City Council, Voscur, St John’s Foundation, John Pontin Trust, and the Business West Initiative, we are founder members of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, which seeks to drive regional change through civic-led, commercially focused and innovative investment.

In addition to our formal partnerships, the Society and its members take an active role in developing and driving forward discussions and initiatives across a whole range of activities to benefit the greater Bristol area.