Japanese delegation visits Swansea’s Creative Bubble

August 15, 2019 10:07 am

A delegation from the Graduate School of Economics at Toyo University in Tokyo visited Swansea’s Creative Bubble as part of a mission to Wales to learn about how successful Public Private Partnerships (PPP) work in practice.

Creative Bubble is a joint initiative between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Swansea BID, established in 2013 to make a positive impact on Swansea City Centre by increasing footfall, supporting students to set up their own businesses and adding to the city’s rich cultural offer.

The visitors from Japan included a delegation from Toyo University as well as local government officials, consultants and an estate agent who are currently visiting the UK to learn about the range of partnerships that exist between public sector organisations and private enterprises, as well as other infrastructure methods and land value capture programmes. The visit, which includes organisations in London and Scotland, was organised after Associate Professor at Toyo University, Yu Namba, read a book which introduced Swansea BID as one of the UK’s most successful as the concept of BIDs is still new in Japan.

The Creative Bubble enables UWTSD students to network and work together from its base in Cradock Street in the City Centre. Lucy Beddall, from the University’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services team with responsibility of the Creative Bubble, said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors from Japan to see first-hand the excellent work undertaken by the Creative Bubble. Working with Swansea BID, we provide our students with a space to think about the commercial potential of their work and activities include organising pop-up shops, exhibitions, performances, workshops, and film premieres.  Most importantly we encourage them to be enterprising and entrepreneurial so that after graduation they are ready to set up their own businesses within the city.

It’s a great success!”, Lucy adds “Since 2013 over 11,000 people have set foot in the shop to support hundreds of student projects.”

Russell Greenslade, Swansea BID Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased to see the Private Public Partnership model we have in place with Creative Bubble, Swansea BID and UWTSD drawing international attention. Creative Bubble has been a real success story and one that has delivered tangible results for ambitious young people, for business, and for Swansea City Centre. It is important to recognise the part that savvy partnerships such as this one, have to play in the ongoing success of regional economies. They can also do so much to shape and to nurture entrepreneurial thinking that young people can take with them throughout their careers, whatever path they decide to take in the future.”

During their visit the delegation were invited to view an exhibition of surface pattern design by Swansea College of Art graduate Keeley-Shay Jarvis.  Keeley-Shay’s work has a keen sense of place and her bold digital prints often reflect her community in Townhill and Swansea.  She has recently returned from exhibiting her work at the New Designers exhibition in London which provides a platform for fresh design talent to connect with design educators, professionals and consumers and often leads to professional commissions.

Professor Ian Walsh, Provost of UWTSD Swansea and Executive Dean of the Institute of Science and Arts said: “The skills and talent of UWTSD students and graduates which are showcased within the Creative Bubble make a valuable contribution to the city’s offer.

“The University’s successful partnership with Swansea BID reflects the way in which UWTSD is working to build the economic, social and cultural capacity of Swansea.  By co-locating and collaborating with partners, including Swansea Council, we are making Swansea a first choice destination to study, live, work and enjoy”.

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