Agenda and minutes

Stronger City Economy Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 20th June, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - 3rd Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Neil White  01902 550181 Email:

No. Item





Apologies were received from Councillor Philip Bateman and Councillor Payal Bedi-Chadha.


Declarations of interest



The Chair informed the panel she has known Paul Birch, Chief Executive, Revolver Records, for several years and they have worked together in the past.


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 75 KB



That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2017 be aapproved as a correct record and signed by the Chair as a correct record of the meeting.




Matters arising



The Chair requested an update on the following items:

  • Consultation on the draft Library strategy
  • Smart City concept


Charlotte Johns, Head of Strategic Programmes, advised that the library consultation will be considered by Cabinet in July 2017 and the Smart City concept would be discussed in her presentation later.



Developing a creative, cultural and visitor economic strategy pdf icon PDF 375 KB

To consider what should the priorities be for Wolverhampton in developing a creative, cultural and visitor economic strategy.


Report to follow.



Charlotte Johns, Head of Strategic Programmes, introduced the work on developing Council’s strategy and vision for developing a creative, cultural and visitor economy that was highlighted in the report.


The Head of Strategic Programmes advised that the strategy was being drawn up to bring all the work together that was going on in the city.


The Head of Strategic Programmes played two videos to highlight this on:

1. the work of Tech City UK, a Government-backed organisation designed to accelerate the growth of London and the UK’s digital economy, and


2.Gen-Y-City, a European initiative that the Council is part of, allowing groups to share ideas internationally.


The Panel welcomed the findings that Wolverhampton has a higher proportion of micro businesses in culture and creative industries than the national average and questioned how this can be sustained and developed.


Keren Jones, Service Director – City Economy advised that this was being worked on and would be part of the strategy as it was developed.


The Panel commented that London was so successful, with lots of clusters of networks that work together in the cultural sectors and that it was important for a network to make connections.


The Service Director – City Economy, informed the panel that her team are still working on networking issues and stressed more space is needed to facilitate this as meeting space is crucial, as is making technology more affordable and accessible.


The panel considered that its multi-cultural nature was one of its strengths which had been shown by how diverse the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi had become over recent years. it would be good organise a Camden type market in Wolverhampton but it would need to be advertised widely.


Mark Blackstock, Head of Visitor Economy, advised the panel that poster boards have been introduced around the city which appear successful but there was still a need to broaden the understanding of these events.


Following a question about the future of the Lichfield Street development the  Service Director – City Economy advised that was being led by the University.


Following a question why Wightwick Manor wasn’t included in the list of cultural venues in Wolverhampton the Head of Visitor Economy, advised the authority are currently trying to build a better relationship with Wightwick Manor and Moseley Old Hall.


The Chair welcomed Paul Birch, the creator and Chief Executive of Revolver Records to the meeting and asked for his views on how the council could help these sectors.


Paul Birch congratulated the Council for running the most successful Civic Hall in the country. He highlighted the importance of allowing clusters of businesses to develop naturally rather than creating artificial ones which were likely to be much less successful. An example of this was Jaguar Land Rover and its associated supply chain with its ability to attract inward investment. He suggested the Chubb building would be as a good place to provide office space as a start for a cluster.


Paul Birch recommended that the Council should follow  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.