Metro Mayor launches ‘Cultural Plan’ to put West of England on the map


A new plan to put the West of England on the map for national and international success will be unveiled by Metro Mayor Dan Norris this week.


The West of England ‘Cultural Plan’ showcases the people that make the region great, including artists and games designers; highlights our amazing visitor attractions; and puts a spotlight on why we are the go-to place for investment in the creative industries including in film and TV production.


The Metro Mayor will officially launch the ‘Cultural Plan’ on a visit to Bath Spa University’s School of Art, Film and Media and Bath School of Design.


The ‘Cultural Plan’ will be supported by members of the West of England Cultural Compact – which is the first of its kind, as the only one in the country with a regional remit. By pulling together players from across the West of England, the Metro Mayor says we have a “tremendously strong offer” promoting creative businesses that contribute just under £2 billion to the regional economy each year.


The plan will be used to promote the West of England, and ensure that everyone locally from film makers, tourist attractions and universities to cafes and councils are singing from the same hymn sheet.


At the launch, the Metro Mayor will reflect on how the West of England has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdowns meant workers in the hospitality, tourism, retail and creative sectors disproportionately lost incomes and jobs. Many of these people were freelancers, excluded from much government support.


The Metro Mayor will go on to commit to a relentless focus on the future and will say: “In the coming years I am determined we do much more than just survive, but to go on and really thrive – to build back even better and progress far further. I want to ensure more local people than ever before have the opportunities to achieve their full potential and make sure as many people as possible know about the amazing things we do here.  Above all, I want to put our truly great West of England region even more firmly on the map for national and international success.”


Metro Mayor Dan Norris will continue: “I am proud that the West of England is attracting international investment from the key players on the planet to benefit both us and them. More than 500 businesses across the South West have been boosted directly from Netflix investment creating 1,000 jobs across the UK.


“The West of England Combined Authority’s recent £12m investment in the Bottle Yard Studios sends a strong, confident, and really important message to the world – that our amazing creative sector here in the West of England is thriving and growing apace. I am also supporting small businesses and freelancers with a programme of professional development and paid placements for young people.


“We are making amazing TV like Outlaws, Tracey Beaker and the wonderful David Attenborough series. We need everyone to know they are made in the West.”


Around 800 million people each month watch digital content produced in Bristol and Bath.


The Mayor will conclude: “Those who know the West of England love it, its super creativity, and its can-do attitude to take action and achieve results. This Cultural Plan will ensure even more people fall under the West of England’s spell to build upon our already outstanding national and global success.”

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