Back the Bexley bid!
Article posted: 11th October 2017
Bexley is on the cusp of something big as it prepares a bid to become the London Borough of Culture for 2019 and 2020.
Bexley is one of 32 boroughs competing for the new initiative launched by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to bring culture to all Londoners.
According to Gill Steward, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Bexley, the borough has a good chance as it’s “an untapped resource” and a centre of artistic excellence with two world class performing arts centres in Bird College and Rose Bruford.
The council plans to build on the performing arts scene by creating a new theatre alongside a production, rehearsal and innovation zone. The Bexley Theatre and Production Centre will hopefully form an integral part of the proposed Thames Estuary Cultural Production Corridor.
Speaking at McBrides Chartered Accountants FaB breakfast meeting on Wednesday 4th October, Mrs Steward explained the council’s vision for Bexley and its perfect position as a creative corridor in London. She said: “Investment in arts and culture can be a catalyst for economic regeneration.”
As the invited speaker at FaB, the quarterly networking meeting held by Sidcup-based McBrides, Mrs Steward laid out her plans for championing apprenticeships with businesses in the borough, as well as a focus on skills with the Bexley Skills Charter, the Learning & Enterprise College, and the Place and Making Institute, which she described as “a positive addition in skills for Bexley and the south east.”
Mrs Steward described Bexley as an “exciting place to be” with “lots of amazing things that we don’t always talk about; ie. the best recycling, nine miles of Thames river front, great education results and the safest London borough.”
The council is “lobbying the Mayor hard” as well as seeking inward investment from the London and overseas investment market. She added: “We have been slightly reticent in the past in the borough about growth and haven’t had our pitch on the investment map, but we have spent a lot of time in the last year showing investors the opportunities we have. We have been looking for investors who will be here for the long term, because we want to build a local economy that’s sustainable and has a positive impact locally, with better jobs and better opportunities for the people who live here. We want the borough to share in the dividend of growth.”
Nick Paterno, Managing Partner at McBrides Chartered Accountants said: “It’s an exciting time for the borough. The emphasis on the borough as a creative corridor is interesting as is Bexley’s growth strategy and vision to grow sustainably while retaining local character. It's exciting for business and for those living in the areas. If businesses are to continue to thrive and grow, then there needs to be an emphasis on skills in the borough, which is why we were one of the first businesses to sign up to the Bexley Skills Charter in January this year.”
ITN has launched a poll to gauge which borough has the most support, to support Bexley’s bid vote here: http://www.itv.com/news/london/2017-06-30/which-borough-should-be-named-london-borough-of-culture/.
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