Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (TVCC) – The Windsor Debates

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Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (TVCC) – The Windsor Debates

On 18 March, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Chamber’s flagship event, the Windsor Debates in the historic surroundings of the Vicars’ Hall, St George’s House, Windsor Castle. The inspired theme for the 2022 debate was ‘Film, High-End Television and Audio Visual: Thames Valley – the UK’s Creative Heart’. The Debate provided an opportunity to celebrate the Thames Valley’s incredible global strength across this sector. Britain is home to some of the world’s leading creative talent from fashion to film, exporting £37.9 billion in 2019 and the Thames Valley is at the forefront of this UK export success story.

On a beautiful Spring day, TVCC brought together some of the region’s great thought leaders, industry practitioners, talent developers and skills trainers, producers, and investors to take an informed look and perspective on the practical issues and challenges the Thames Valley faces in sustaining its status as one of the world’s premier locations for attracting inward investment and making films and media content.

The day was packed with excellent speakers and lively panel discussions expertly facilitated by Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman at Cicero and the UK Government’s LGBT Business Champion. We learned why the Thames Valley is so appealing to the film and TV industry and explored the pressures and challenges the industry faces. The speakers outlined the challenges around property development and planning; the importance of identifying, attracting, retaining, and delivering the top talent – we were provided with a showcase of the great work already being undertaken to deliver the skills and talent pipeline the industry requires. We were given an industry perspective from the Indian sub-continent by investors in the Bollywood film industry, who provided a unique perspective on how the Thames Valley is best placed to maximise its relationship with Bollywood.

Evensong at St George’s Chapel provided an opportunity for reflection before we were treated to a pre-Dinner drinks reception in the Dean’s Cloister, followed by a sumptuous dinner in The Vicars’ Hall. Lord Ed Vaizey of Didcot was the keynote dinner speaker who shared his thoughts and anecdotes of working in the film, TV and AV sector.

What a day – well done TVCC.

Richard Devall
Employment & Immigration Partner – IBB Thames Valley