Curtain up!

Metro Mayor Dan Norris officially opened a brand new support programme on 1 September to help people working in the West of England’s thriving creative sector.

The Mayor addressed the event at the Watershed in Bristol and met freelancers and people who work in 55 local businesses including music recording, web design, photography, theatre, illustration, film, video and TV production.

These talented individuals will take part in the new programme which is run by the West of England Combined Authority that the Metro Mayor leads.

Participants in the five-month long programme will benefit from access to workshops and training delivered by Watershed; £3,000 of mentoring, coaching and consultancy expertise; and bring people together to learn from each other.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “The West of England is rich with creative talent, but many working in the sector have been hit hard by the pandemic and freelancers particularly have been excluded from Government support. I wanted to get this brand new scheme up-and-running quickly because it will help these freelancers and creative businesses get back on their feet and face the future with growing confidence. We are a region of innovation and creativity – let’s make sure it’s the best it can be.”

Bristol based media-tech company, Gritty Talent is one of the first businesses which will benefit from the new support scheme. Creative Director & Founder of the Gritty Talent Group Mel Rodrigues said: “Coming out of Covid-19, our business is at a pivotal point, and so to build our resilience and grow, we need trusted support to make informed business decisions in these unchartered times. The Creative Sector Growth Programme is providing this in well thought out, bitesize chunks, and with lots of opportunities to learn from other businesses too.”

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