Digital Bristol Week – a great collaboration between the BBC, Bristol Media, Creative Skillset and other partners around the city – ended January with a bang.
Interim BBC Director General Tim Davie described the move of staff from Birmingham to Bristol as meaning the Bristol operation was “at scale” – ready to play a bigger part in the overall economy, and also pledged to work with partners on training with the BBC.
He also acknowledged that the BBC building is Whiteladies Road was not fit-for-purpose, and discussions over the best site were ongoing. Local BBC leader Lucio Mesquita signed a new 3-year BBC-Bristol Partnership agreement with our mayor, George Ferguson, which will focus on skills development, innovation and the role of the BBC in the area’s creative economy.
Across the week, events at the BBC in Whiteladies Road, at the Pervasive Media Studio in Watershed and at the Creative England office on College Green attracted over 500 participants. Many local businesses, including e3 at Paintworks, also held “open doors” sessions organized by Bristol Media to show how they work.
Bristol is now firmly part of a ‘golden triangle’ of creative centres with London and Manchester, and BBC North boss Peter Salmon returned with clear advice for building the industry, based on the success of MediaCity in Salford. Most are already in place – the relationship with the Universities, a collaborative movement of staff – but there is plenty to do, including better promotion of our offer. According to Peter :
“In terms of size of city, you should really have the same size of creative industry as Coventry – you have way more than that, and you really do punch above your weight.”
A key project arising from the week was a commitment for the world-leading expertise in TV & animation production to work more closely with the world-leading expertise in micro-electronics under the banner of “Intelligent Media”.
Watch this space!