In the latest of the online conversations hosted by Wera Hobhouse, guest Professor Sue Rigby, Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University, predicts that the creative industries will flourish in Bath after Covid-19.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Wera Hobhouse and residents, Sue Rigby anticipates attitudes changing now that we have experienced a better quality of life with more free time, clean air and car free streets. She says: “The creative industries will blossom, because they can be done locally, with fairly small overheads and streamed to everybody. In turn they will need a digital skills base and cyber security expertise. We have courses in all these things in Bath, and they’re going to be needed.”
Bath’s two universities, and Bath College, will be pivotal in the recovery. Prof Rigby explains how their diversity of approach will be critical in the upskilling of our workforce. She says: “The three of us are working with the Council on a project called iSTART. The idea is that it will help people from across Bath and the wider region to change career or to upskill, with anything from basic training to setting up a business. It may not even need a physical building, but it’s something we can all bring our expertise to.”
She also explained how the university can work very closely with the local community to everyone’s benefit. She said: “Because Wera used our Locksbrook Campus for her arts conference, a very large number of local organisations were able to hear directly from the Arts Council, and successfully bid for emergency funding to get through this difficult period. That’s just one example of how we can work with the local community, and residents can see what we do, and how we can help.”