Historically part of Warwickshire, Coventry is England’s 9th largest city (population 380,000) and a diverse and cohesive city with a relatively young population that has experienced a high rate of population growth in recent years, particularly amongst 18-29 year olds. It is an ethnically diverse city, with around one-third (33%) of the population from minority ethnic groups compared to 20% for England as a whole.
Moreover, it is expected to become more diverse: among schoolchildren, 48.7% of pupils are from ethnic backgrounds other than White British, including 9.3% Black African, 8.9% Asian Indian and 7.5% White Other.
Coventry is 19 miles (31 km) east-south-east of Birmingham, 24 miles (39 km) south-west of Leicester, 11 miles (18 km) north of Warwick and 95 miles (153 km) north-west of London. Coventry is also the most central city in England, being only 12 miles (19 km) south-west of the country’s geographical centre. It benefits from excellent road (m40/m42/M1 and M6 all close by) and rail connections with fast trains from London Euston taking just 57 mins to the new Coventry station.
The city has three universities: Coventry University in the city centre, the University of Warwick on the southern outskirts and the smaller private Arden University with its headquarters close to Coventry Airport. Coventry was awarded UK City of Culture for 2021 which ran until May 2022 due to the pandemic which has had a major impact on not just how the city looks with extensive improvements to public realm, amenities and attractions but also a cohesive network of volunteers, companies and creatives who have come together in the city and the wider region to deliver amazing arts, culture and media projects.
We have developed our “City of Vision” (CoV) strategy to embrace the opportunities that the City of Culture has created recognising that creative content production in the city has been largely absent from the city for decades. With a focus on TV production but recognising the increasingly diverse aspirations and projects in film, gaming, animation, VR, AR and Immersive in region (with Coventry University running a Masters Course in Immersive from September 2022), Sky Blue Studios is our delivery mechanism and brand for bringing spaces and projects to life with a focus on providing practical, integrated studio space across the city and building a creative ecosystem that supports those projects.
However, we do this with one central value – sustainability. We believe this is the only way to develop and grow the industry recognising the major impacts this has on both how the industry is perceived but also how residents and stakeholders alike would want an industry to behave. With the headwinds of energy security, carbon reduction, inclusivity and the need for innovation and sustainable growth, we see our “City of Vision” concept as one that can leverage all the low carbon initiatives and innovations from local and regional companies as well as the commitments and infrastructure projects that Coventry Council have instigated to deliver a #sustainablefirst city-wide studio.