SWLEP board member named in 2018 New Year’s Honours list

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has announced that its board member, Shahina Johnson has been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in the New Year 2018 Honours list.

Shahina is chief and artistic director at Swindon-based Create Studios and will receive an MBE for ‘Services to the Arts and Creative Industries in Swindon and Wiltshire’ at a ceremony at St James’s Palace in the Spring.

Based in the heart of Swindon’s “emerging cultural quarter,” Create Studios is a digital agency whose aim is to “grow the next generation of digital media creatives” through a range of production opportunities and experiences. Create Studios claims it is “committed to investing in talented young people,” enabling them to develop digital skills.

The company draws together communities through social history and issue-based projects supported by partners including Swindon Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. These projects “engage 7,000 participants a year,” building their aspirations and digital skills in a number of fields including film, photography and gaming.

Shahina’s contribution to the arts and creative industries has spanned 25 years, and she has been able to use that experience to “benefit other regional organisations” through her role on the SWLEP Board where she has supported its priority around “Place-shaping,” knowing that culture, civic pride and positive life chances are “important for economic and social wellbeing.”

Shahina said: “I’ve been so privileged to work in arts and culture for 25 years, and I so appreciate the people and organisations who have supported me. The Creative Industries are growing at double the rate of other sectors, and I am committed to making the journey into that world a wholesome one for all young people in our region.”

She added: “I am incredibly proud for my journey to have been recognised with the MBE award, and want to thank my team at Create for enabling all this to happen.”

Pictured above: Shahina Johnson

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