Metro Mayor Dan Norris came face-to-face with a polar bear while visiting a Bristol-based workshop that makes unique props, sets and models that are seen by millions of TV viewers.
The Metro Mayor toured Mangostone’s 4,500 square foot workshop where he encountered a life-sized model of a polar bear and met directors Tony Tarquini and Laurens Nockels.
The creative duo explained how their workers are benefitting from specialist mentoring and training thanks to £3,000 of Creative Sector Growth investment from the West of England Combined Authority, which the Metro Mayor leads. Mangostone has also received support through the Combined Authority's Creative Scale Up programme, including £6,000 of funding as well as continued business support through the Creative Sector Growth programme.
The Metro Mayor also met the talented team of sculptors and painters behind the props that are used in prestigious shows such as Bridgerton and the Last Bus. Mr Norris was treated to a sneak peek of some of their work for upcoming productions.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Meeting a giant polar bear isn’t what I expect when I set off in the morning. But it goes to show how innovative and creative our region is. The West of England is a leader in the TV and film industry. It’s really exciting to learn that amazing Bristol-made props are being watched by viewers on Netflix, Warner Brothers and the BBC. I am delighted that a grant from the West of England Combined Authority which I lead is helping creative workers reach their full potential."
The Mangostone directors had 25 years of experience working in the film and television industries before starting their own business in 2017.
Mangostone Director Laurens Nockels said: “These grants have come at just the right time in our development. They are helping us scale up and streamline our business, and compete in a rapidly growing sector, both locally and nationally.”