Parliamentary Business Forum with the Rt Hon Sajid Javid

On the 8th of September the media hub of West London made its way to Discovery in Chiswick Business Park to take part in a parliamentary business forum. The forum was composed of four speeches and a Q&A session, the conversation drawing upon the future development of the creative media industry based in West London.




The guest of the forum was the Rt Hon Sajid Javid the secretary of State for culture, media and Sport, who came to listen to the speeches and engage in the discussion. Beside him sat the MP Mary Macleod who organised the forum and Kit Malthouse, the Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise. There were representatives from major media companies such as Virgin Media, BBC, QVC, TV Triangle and BSkyB; but also local businesses and associations such as Brentford Chamber of Commerce, Hounslow Council, HSBC and the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce.  

Mary Macleod, the MP for Chiswick, introduced the session briefly. She spoke about the importance of increasing the potential of the industry in West London, and how this could affect the wider community. Following this Dee Forbes, the President & Managing Director of Discovery Networks Western Europe, talked about Discovery’s investment in the UK. She described how this was inspired by the creativity and skill base found in London, and showed a short introductory clip from the Discovery Channel.

The first speech was from the experienced games industry entrepreneur Ian Livingstone CBE (Games Workshop; Eidos) who highlighted that the UK has over 400 games studios servicing a global market that is forecast to exceed $90Bn by 2016. As such he indicated that the UK should be more alert to the importance of the opportunity and proposed a theory entitled the '5 p's', which included: Perception (of the industry); Pipes; Property; Pounds; People. Ian has also co-written a paper called next-gen,  which is available on the Nesta website. He finished by speaking about the importance of development in ICT education, and how “coding should be the new latin”.

 tvtriangle presentation

The following speech from the Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise (and small business Chairman) Kit Malthouse explained that with a budget of £200m and an economy the size of London City Hall, there must be careful spending. Local government must take on the role of a ‘groundsman’ to deliver the right environment for business success. The areas benefitting from this focus would be: infrastructure; Skills; Small Businesses and Diversification (taking advantage of the excellence already in the South east and encouraging clusters).

The Third speaker was Nigel Walley, chair of the TV Triangle and Managing Director of Decipher and iBurbia Studios, who focused on the TV Triangle story and the significance of the trade body. He presented a summary of a study carried out in the first half of this year by MBS students of the London School of Business and Finance. Their work confirmed that a significant Television cluster in West London has naturally formed, with pay-tv the dominant focus and a whole ecosystem of broadcast related businesses in place.

Lastly, The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport took the opportunity to thank those present for the work they put in to support the industry and for investing in the UK. He emphasized how the media and digital industry is worth £71Bn to the UK economy and how within it employment is growing at five times the speed of the wider economy. He also highlighted that the Government are doing all they can to support the efforts of those in the creative industries from start-ups to multinationals.

QA After Speeches

The forum closed on an informal Q&A session. There were three issues in particular that were stressed as very important by delegates in the open forum. Firstly the need for educational institutions to train students with relevant skills. This lead to the topic of collaboration between employers and educational bodies, and how this area needs to be improved. Lastly it was discussed that property, fibre and transport for all levels of the industry needed expansion and development.