Gloucestershire

'White-washed' Cheltenham video to be 'made better'

Clip form video Image copyright Marketing Cheltenham
Image caption The Visit Cheltenham video features very few black and minority ethnic people

The team behind a town's promotional video criticised for being "white-washed" says it is listening to feedback in order to "make it better".

The video is aimed at drawing visitors back to Cheltenham after the coronavirus lockdown, but some residents claim it lacks diversity.

Florence Nyasamo-Thomas of Cheltenham Black Lives Matter said the video "doesn't show who we are".

Cheltenham BID said it recognises the importance of representing diversity.

The two-minute video posted on Visit Cheltenham's website and social media pages shows local businesses welcoming visitors back and asking them what they missed during lockdown.

It was produced by Marketing Cheltenham, which is managed by Cheltenham Borough Council, and works in partnership with the local Business Improvement District (BID).

Mrs Nyasamo-Thomas said it features very few non-white people and believes "inclusivity is important".

"Cheltenham has got a lot more people living here contributing to our community than this video portrays," she said.

"To show Cheltenham as not a diverse community is unfortunate. It doesn't show who we are. Where are black people in this narrative?"

"Cheltenham does have a white, middle class reputation, but black people are here investing and contributing."

Image copyright Marketing Cheltenham
Image caption At the 2011 census, Cheltenham's BAME population was just under 6% - higher than the average for the county

Another local Black Lives Matter campaigner, Khady Guy, added the video is "white-washed" and "problematic".

"It's completely non-representational of the Gloucestershire population," she said.

At the 2011 census, Cheltenham's BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) population was just under 6% - higher than the average for the county but lower than the national figure of 14%.

Belinda Hunt of Cheltenham BID said: "We are working with some of the local businesses who are going to talk to us about some suggestions they have on how we can make it better.

"We absolutely recognise the importance of taking an inclusive approach and of representing the diversity that exists in both our community and our audiences."

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