On Thursday evening last week, Creative Republic brought together council leader Mike Whitby and head of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Jerry Blackett to discuss the role of Birmingham’s creative industries in the Big City Plan.Â Mark Ball (at the lecturn in the pic) hosted.
Rhubarb Radio were there to record the proceedings and have a link to an audio file of the speeches.Â There are some photos in the gallery on the Creative Republic site and here are Pete Aston’s notes in mindmap form.
What I took away from the evening was that nothing’s yet set in stone and there’s still a lot of work to be done on developing the plan.
The thing is, things are currently at the talking stage.Â It’s hard to get a sense of what direction things are taking as there doesn’t seem to be anything we can really get our teeth into, dissect and inspect.Â I think I remember Mike Whitby saying that there might be something more tangible to look at in October.Â A follow-up event is in the offing.
The other thing that was impressed upon us all is that, in terms of employees and Gross Value Added, the creative sector is comparable in size to the city’s lauded financial sector.Â There’s a lot of latent power there that could influence the way the city develops.
We were told that if anyone wants to get involved in shaping the plan then there’s no need to wait for an invite.Â Unfortunately the mechanism for getting involved isn’t that clear, although according to the Big City Plan site, Richard Healy is the initial point of contact for anyone wanting to get in touch.Â You can call him on 0121 303 3075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helga Henry from Creative Republic said that they would be asking everyone who was there to submit one big idea for Birmingham.Â They’ll be collected together and presented to the Big City Plan peeps.
To feed into that, and perhaps addressing anyone who hasn’t signed up to the Creative Republic charter:
What’s your big idea for Birmingham?
Whack it in the comments and it’ll be thrown into the mix.Â I’ll start things off…