Diversity in creativity was placed firmly at the top of the agenda as leaders of the West of England’s creative sector gathered to celebrate the official launch of Creative Business News.
A joint venture between Swindon Business News and its associated titles in Bristol and Bath and communications agency Purplefish, Creative Business News is the first impartial media platform dedicated solely to showcasing the world-leading creative work produced across the region.
It will use that position to highlight best practice in creating greater diversity in the sector and showcase those firms that are leading by example.
Speaking at the launch event, hosted at Floating Harbour Studio’s converted Dutch barge on Bristol’s Welsh Back, Swindon Business News and Creative Business News editor Rob Buckland explained the reason for launching the title and outlined its exciting plans, including a ‘Creative 50’ project to recognise the sector’s innovators and a series of events around the region exploring how the creative sector feeds into its flourishing digital, robotics and virtual reality specialisms.
“What makes the creative industries unique in this part of the world is the way they dovetail with other sectors, especially the tech sector,” he said.
“In the recent Tech Nation report it came across loud and clear that the reason the Bristol and Bath area is the country’s third largest tech hot spot is because it works closely with the creative sector.
“We have a virtuous circle here that brings together digital, robotics, virtual reality, apps and all the other tech developments, not to mention this region’s pioneering green and financial services sectors. So the West of England really is in a sweet spot for creativity at the moment. There’s something in the water here. And we aim to reflect that through Creative Business News.”
Purplefish founder and managing director Joanna Randall spoke about the need for greater diversity and inclusion in the creative sector and explained how Creative Business News will champion this cause. The title will be reporting on – and celebrating – examples of best practice and positive projects and initiatives designed to tackle this issue.
“Diversity means different things to different people but when it comes up as a subject, as it frequently does, my main bug bear is that we only talk about it,” she told the gathering.
“Overall, there is not enough action to address what are very well documented issues around the lack of diversity in the creative industries.”
Joanna highlighted how 25% of school children in Bristol were non-white yet this was not reflected in both the creative workforce and output of the region, while only a quarter of the employees in the digital sector are women.
After name-checking examples of creative projects which are breaking down barriers including Ujima and BCFM Radio, Rife Magazine, The Station and Knowle West Media Centre, Joanna added: “We’re going to be developing our campaigning content in this area – we want to act as a showcase for initiatives and practical ideas which seek to improve representation and provide opportunities to offer experience and mentoring schemes which break down barriers to entry into the creative sector.”
“We will also be looking to feature examples of diversity in output because increased representation is not just about who we employ as businesses, it is also about the work we produce.”
Laurence Richards and Robert Sargent of Bristol-headquartered architecture firm Stride Treglown then entertained the 60-plus assembled guests by presenting some of the firm’s highly creative 52 Big Ideas for Bristol, including making better use of the city’s Floating Harbour with urban beaches, barbecue areas and even dying the water green.
The event was sponsored by Floating Harbour Studios, Amarelle and Budvar. Guests went on to continue the celebrations at an after party at Bambalan.
Creative Business News has a small number of exclusive launch advertising and sponsorship packages. For more information on these please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured at the launch: Top photo – Joanna Randall and Rob Buckland. Second photo – Laurence Richards and Robert Sargent from Stride Treglown. All photos by Jon Craig @JonCraig_Photos