State of the Region – image and identity of the West Midlands

West Bromwich at nightLast week, we started a new State of the Region dialogue on the image and identity of the West Midlands.

The future of the region will be determined by the decisions that individuals make – decisions such as whether to locate in the region, to invest in business or property, to study at one of our universities or to visit the region for business or leisure.

All of these decisions will be influenced by people’s view of the region’s image and identity.

A range of information is already collected, locally, regionally and nationally, about how people view the region and how it compares with other places.

There is also more general research, looking at what drives and changes image and identity. The workshop brought together different sources of evidence to determine the story they tell us about the West Midlands, summarised in the three presentations available below.

Image and identity of the West Midlands region – what do we already know?

Presentation by Stephen Howarth and Lauren Amery, West Midlands Regional Observatory:

Get Stephen and Lauren’s PowerPoint slides (ppt, 1,3mb)

Understanding the identity and image of the West Midlands region

Presentation by Professor Leslie de Chernatony, Professor of Brand Marketing Universita della Svizzera italiana and Aston Business School:

Get Leslie’s PowerPoint slides (ppt, 680kb)

Prof Chernatony referenced two resources:

Image and identity – the cultural sector

Presentation by Jane Lutz, Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham:

Get Jane’s PowerPoint slides (ppt, 392kb)

Jane referenced resources from Impacts 08,  Liverpool’s European capital of culture research programme.

What’s next?

Following the presentations, delegates discussed how evidence or analysis could be improved to make policy responses more effective. (The key discussion points (pdf, 110kb) are available.)

The workshop forms part of the Observatory’s state of the West Midlands monitoring and will lead to further work to improve the evidence available to anyone involved in influencing the image of the West Midlands.

We’ll post updates on this site in due course.

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