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A great turnout to the first Creative & Tech Meet Up

08 November 2017

Is this the start of a bright new future for Wolverhampton?
 

The iconic Lighthouse Media Centre this week hosted an informal Creative & Tech Meet Up as part of the EU funded project ‘Gen-Y City!’.

City of Wolverhampton Council and partners put the call out for people working in the creative and digital/hi-tech sectors to attend.

Catherine Perry, council development officer, said “We wanted to stimulate a conversation with the talented creative people in the city to find out what’s happening and how best to develop and retain young talent in the creative and technical sectors.

“Culture and the creative industries are a high growth and high value sector and make up an important element of the UK’s and Wolverhampton’s economy. The sector helps drive regeneration, placemaking and the visitor economy.”

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: “Finding ways to retain and develop young talent in our city is important to the future of our economy.”

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is exploring culture, creativity and tourism to identify key opportunities.  Developing the creative and digital sector is one of the eight priority areas of the WMCA.

Wolverhampton is one of 12 European cities participating in the two-year Gen Y city! project, which aims to help improve cities by identifying what young people - also known as Millennials or Generation Y - want and need, so helping attract and retain skilled young people in these areas.

The project aims to identify the city’s strengths and what creative and digital organisations need to grow and take on more young people.

Catherine added: “We were delighted with the turnout and the response we’ve had. More than 50 people turned up and their comments were overwhelmingly positive.

“There seemed to be a real appetite from those attending for more events in the future to support the sector. Wolverhampton has a strong creative base on which to build with many people saying we have an abundance of local talent and excellent creative spaces, all of which should be promoted.”

Shaun Owen from West-Midlands Media said: “There was a really nice atmosphere and it was great to see game developers, designers, programmers, artists, crafts people, filmmakers and digital marketeers all in one room. West-Midlands Media are very keen to help support future events and keep the momentum going.

“Many business owners who attended the event were very keen to meet with people looking to break into the industry and potentially offer them opportunities.

“The partners who organised the event came together as part of the Gen-Y City! (URBACT Local Group) which has been and will be a real driving force in creating opportunities for young people to enter an exciting, rewarding career in Wolves.”

Following on from the success of the evening the organisers would like to hear from more businesses in the creative/technical sectors about future events with a view to organising another before Christmas.