Ryan Lewis, seasoned Business Development Manager, and member of the Heath Park Team, with a deep-rooted connection to the creative arts scene of Liverpool and the Liverpool City Region, has returned from the launch event in Bodø, Norway, celebrating its designation as the European City of Culture for 2024. Ryan Lewis, in his capacity as a Business Development Manager and with extensive links to counterparts in Norway, is excited to unveil the remarkable opportunities and collaborations stemming from this prestigious occasion.

Over the past decade, Ryan Lewis has played a crucial role in nurturing significant relationships in Norway, particularly in Bodø, through his involvement in the creative arts scene and broader business endeavours. Leveraging these connections, he has been actively exploring avenues to forge mutually beneficial relationships between Norway and Liverpool.

Notably, Bodø’s decision to apply for European City of Culture status originated from a visit Ryan Lewis facilitated to Liverpool in 2018 for prominent Norwegian officials and business leaders. This initiative, supported by Dr. Beatriz Garcia of the University of Liverpool, provided invaluable insights into the impact of cultural accolades, guiding Bodø in their application process.

HM Queen Sonja
The launch event in Bodø underscored the city’s cultural richness and economic vitality, with esteemed guests including HM Queen Sonja, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, and EU Ambassador Nicholas de La Grandville. Amidst this illustrious gathering, Ryan Lewis advocated for collaboration between Bodø and Liverpool, emphasising the transformative impact of cultural initiatives like Liverpool’s 2008 European City of Culture status.

A key focus of collaboration is the advancement of vertical farming technology, an area where Liverpool has made significant strides. Discussions are underway with key stakeholders in Bodø, including Bodø Energi and SpareBank 1, a leading Norwegian bank, to explore opportunities for cooperation in this critical sector, particularly relevant given the region’s limited sunlight for a significant portion of the year.

Additionally, Ryan Lewis has facilitated connections between Bodø and Liverpool in sectors ranging from music and sports to craft beer exports. Notably, Bodø’s interest in hosting the Eurovision Song Contest presents a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and spectacle, potentially marking the first time the event is hosted in the Arctic Circle.

Looking ahead, Ryan Lewis remains committed to serving as an unofficial ambassador for the Liverpool City Region, fostering collaborations and promoting mutual prosperity between the regions. He invites stakeholders to engage in further discussions to explore potential projects and partnerships that could benefit both Bodø and Liverpool.