Metro Mayor Tim Bowles on supporting our vibrant and diverse communities
I’m proud that we live in a place that is filled with great people and talent. The West of England is a region where ideas flourish and businesses thrive and grow thanks to the diversity and creativity found across our towns and cities.
Last week I was delighted to join the great team at Ashley Community Housing (ACH) and our own Growth Hub team for a special event to celebrate the work that we have been doing in supporting some of the least advantaged communities in the region. I’m proud to see how our Growth Hub team have been working closely with wider communities over the last 12 months, because I am determined to ensure that as the economy of the West of England grows everyone can benefit.
As a Combined Authority, we have been very active in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses; helping to build business connections across the region. Along with ACH we have explored different ways to help entrepreneurs who come from our region’s migrant and refugee communities. Through collaboration, we are breaking down barriers which hold businesses back and we are helping them to grow and prosper. This is especially important to me because I know how important small and micro businesses are to ensuring prosperity right across our region. Businesses like this don’t just serve the wider community but also give some of our most disadvantaged residents more stability along with the chance to prosper.
The Growth Hub and ACH have been supporting a diverse mix of businesses from across many different sectors including food, tech and entertainment. This demonstrates the wide range of opportunities available across the West of England to explore your passion and start a business. We recently launched our Local Industrial Strategy, with Government, which draws on our region’s unique strengths – including the creativity of our diverse communities – to drive long-term growth in our regional economy. By bringing different communities together to collaborate, the West of England will help drive the country’s future role in the world and our prosperity.
Whether it is individual entrepreneurs from our communities, or our largest corporations, I have seen the value in getting people to talk to each other and collaborate to promote growth. As a Combined Authority, we can link different communities from right across the West of England so that they can exchange ideas, trade and conduct new business. Our work with ACH is just one example of the many different ways in which we are helping small businesses and encouraging collaboration in every community across the region. By unlocking community networks we can help everybody to achieve their potential. Through helping businesses to succeed and grow, we are helping our communities prosper and provide new opportunities for all of us.