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Mayor of Bristol pledges to help grow Creative Bristol

The Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, last night (11th June), pledged his further commitment to help develop the creative industries in Bristol. His pledge was made during a spirited keynote speech at the Creative Bristol event where representatives from the city’s creative industries gathered to celebrate, champion and grow their reputation.


The event was part of a nationwide tour to celebrate ‘Creative Britain’ and was co-hosted by the IPA and Creative Skillset, in local partnership with West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Bristol Media and Creative England. It was organised in acknowledgment of the strength of Bristol’s creative industries which are growing faster than the rest of the UK, at 11%, and account for 8.6% of the city’s business units and 16,000 jobs (including BBC Bristol, Aardman Animations, Bristol Games Hub; UWE Creative Industries University; Toshiba and IBM; Bray Leino, McCann Bristol, Mason Zimbler).

View photos and video from the event.

Said Mayor Ferguson: “What’s not to like about the creative industries in Bristol? You are our future. You deliver commercially and culturally. You’re environmentally friendly and a powerhouse economically.”

In addition to acknowledging its power, Ferguson then went on to commit to further strengthening his role as ambassador for the sector: “Feed me more stories for me to better represent you nationally and internationally. Tell me about the blockages in the system; let me help you sort those out so you can focus on the day job.”

He closed on a rallying note: “Stand up for Bristol. Be proud to be Bristol. Make Bristol a big part of your everyday story. Be ambitious. You are already punching above your weight. Why shouldn’t we go for 20% year-on-year growth by 2020?”

Following on from the Mayor’s speech, a panel of creative industry heads including Andy Reid, IPA City Head for Bristol and Managing Director McCann Bristol; Tomas Rawlings, Auroch Digital; Dan Martin,; Greg Ingham, MediaClash and Laura Marshall, Icon Films, debated the ways in which the city’s creative industries could continue to flourish. Ideas raised, with audience input, included the need to:

- Work more with local universities to make creative courses fit for the creative industries’ needs.
- Increase affordable space for start-ups and improve the communication about existing space available.
- Work with schools to nurture future talent in the tech and digital sectors, particularly in the area of coding for games development.
- Do more together, including more cross-sector networking.
- Develop a more coherent Bristol story.

The event also heard from Lewis Blackwell who is writing a series of features for The Drum to coincide with the nationwide tour to Birmingham and Manchester, in addition to Bristol. The articles will provide an in-depth study into the state of the creative industries within these cities. Closing comments were provided by David Sproxton of Aardman Animation and the Creative Industries Council.

Said Janet Hull, OBE, Director of Marketing and Reputation Management, IPA: “The Creative Bristol event highlighted the city’s infectious buzz. From games, to advertising and digital, to film, TV and animation, there’s a real enthusiasm and sense of purpose. Bristol came out of recession first, and they’re keen to capitalise on the momentum. And, as we learnt last night, they’re in the perfect position to do so.”

At the event, three additional announcements were made to the Bristol community: the website with the promise of new content and more continuous national and international promotion about the strengths of Bristol’s creative tech hub;  the three Bristol winners of the IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers 2014 apprenticeship challenge; as well as the launch of a new Creative Industries Strategy from the Creative Industries Council due out on 2nd July.

If you are interested in attending the subsequent Creative Britain events in Birmingham (on 9th July) and Manchester (3rd September), please contact


Last updated 27/06/2014

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