James Durie is Executive Director of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & West of England Initiative at Business West, the organisation that leads and speaks for business in the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and wider area and one of the leading chambers and business organisations in the country.
The organisation has a special group of all the major business and public agencies known as the ‘Initiative’, a business leadership team that, for over 27 years, has enabled the city region business community and other key organisations to engage in strategic matters important to business, look further ahead and work in partnership to tackle inequality and bring health, wealth and opportunity for all citizens.
James and his team in the Bristol Chamber & Initiative are centrally involved in the running of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, where he is a Board member and acts as the main connection into the wider business community.
Business West – the Initiative, is a strategic business partner of the Bristol European Green Capital 2015 year – a far reaching programme promoting sustainable urban living and a low carbon city with a high quality life for all.
The Initiative has set up and helped run over 25 different partner organisations since it was established in 1989. Nowadays, these include Destination Bristol, Bath Tourism Plus and the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, which also comprises the Bristol Festival of Ideas. In 2011 it set out a long term sustainable plan for the Bristol City Region – Bristol 2050 ‘High in Hope’ and is now taking this forward as part of a ‘Bristol Futures’ approach – to enable strategic planning and place making as a leading European Cities region.
Business West works in a number of different ways across the South West region and is strengthening its business and other links with Cardiff, Newport and South Wales.