Bristol Media, a 600-strong group for the region's creative, media and digital sector, has appointed a new chair.

Chris Thurling founded 3Sixty, one of the Bristol area’s first web design and digital marketing agencies in 1995.

After leaving the business 17 years later, he set up strategic consulting and coaching firm Chris Thurling Strategy, which specialises in creative industries

Joining the Bristol Media Board in 2010, he has been ‘instrumental’ in helping its growth, including championing Bristol’s international creative connections.

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For the past three years Thurling has led a delegation of Bristol and Bath based creative businesses to the South by South by West Festival in Austin Texas.

He said: “I am delighted to be taking over the role of Chair and I will be working closely with the operations team to ensure that Bristol Media continues to thrive and deliver valuable support to our growing creative sector.

“We are already planning a strong programme of training and events for 2017 culminating in our flagship Vision Conference on 14th November.

“We live in uncertain times and there will be challenges ahead for our sector but I am certain that the team at Bristol Media are in a strong position to continue to offer support and guidance to our ever growing creative community.”

Chris takes over the reins from Paul Appleby, who has led the Bristol Media board for the past seven years.

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Paul says: “I'm a great believer in succession planning and Chris has been a key member of the team for the past seven years.

“He is steeped in the digital community of the whole region, and will be bringing a wealth of experience to the role, having run a successful digital business and as an experienced non-exec chairman, business coach and mentor.

Bristol Media was created in 2005 to support, develop and grow an exciting and competitive creative and media community in the city.

It is now one of the biggest creative networks in the UK and as an industry led organisation representing digital, TV, animation, design, marketing, PR, publishing, film and advertising sectors works to facilitate collaboration and growth across the region, delivering projects, events and opportunities for individuals and businesses working in the sector.