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Solent’s creative industries to be championed at event to support UK City of Culture 2025 bid

01 March 2022

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership is inviting all creative businesses working across the Solent to take part in a virtual event to champion the region’s creative industries and support Southampton's bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025.

Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive of the Solent LEP, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event in partnership with the Southampton UK City of Culture 2025 Bid, bringing together the creative business community across the wider region to begin a vital conversation about the importance of the sector to both the regional and national economy.

"Southampton's bid for UK City of Culture 2025 is an essential contribution to the post-pandemic recovery of our region, and we are committed to supporting a thriving cultural sector and the opportunities it brings to our important coastal communities."

Taking place on Wednesday 9 March, the event: Championing the Solent's Creative Industries, is open to those working in creative industries within the Solent region - from advertising and promotion, and digital gaming, through to fashion, design, music and performing arts.

It aims to highlight the potential for growth in the creative industries in the region, and will include panel discussions and workshops to explore career routes, skills retention and fostering a successful business environment for the sector.

It opens with presentations from a panel of guest speakers, and will be followed with virtual networking and information-sourcing sessions, as well as various opportunities to attend presentations from those working in specific areas in the creative sector.

Opening the event will be:

● Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive, Creative UK

● Claire Whitaker OBE, Bid Director, Southampton City of Culture 2025, who will give an update on the UK City of Culture bid

● Anne-Marie Mountifield, the Solent LEP's Chief Executive, on the importance to the local economy of creating an environment in which creative businesses can flourish.

Caroline Norbury MBE said: “The creative industries play a huge role in unleashing opportunity, prosperity and pride in places throughout the UK, and have the potential to achieve much more. Creativity is an essential catalyst for regenerating our villages, towns and cities, drawing people and investment into local places and binding diverse communities together. To achieve this, it is vital that the opportunities to unlock creative talent are available to all, up and down the country, and therefore I am delighted to join the Solent LEP in highlighting the crucial impact of the creative sector.”

Claire Whitaker OBE said: "Southampton is alive with creativity and our rich, diverse culture forms the bedrock of our bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

“Whilst it is true that creativity thrives locally, it has done so in pockets and we know that there is more to do to enable sustained careers across the creative industries.

“Through this event we wish to open a discussion about how to foster an environment that enables access, encourages those working in the creative industries to remain in the region and to help the creative industries achieve their true economic potential.

“The event will also provide opportunities for those within the industries to network, have information about the business support available and understand the creative industries' eco-system. Just as importantly, we want our creative young people to access the support available to them, and to celebrate the breadth, diversity and opportunities provided by our creative sector."

The online event will run from 10am - 4pm on Wednesday 9 March 2022. It is open to all types of creative businesses based in the Solent and those who have ambitions to be part of the region’s creative sector.

Click here to find out more and to take part in the event.

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