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Success: Merchant Venturer Laura Marshall talks to Bristol Post about Icon Films' Expansion

Laura is a million miles away from the traditional view of the average Merchant Venturer and is proof that the organisation is serious about its drive to become a modern organisation which can make a real different to the city.

Laura said: “I must admit that I was surprised when they came to me. But one of the things I have discovered is that the organisation is full of people who can make a difference and who work really, really hard.”

She said: “My time as chair of the Old Vic was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but it was also incredibly rewarding.

“It was a great time to be involved because the theatre was going through some major changes and we were looking to reach out into the community, it was a very exciting time.”

Icon Films tends to specialise in nature and wildlife films along with short documentary pieces for the one show.

Next year the firm, which has its headquarters in offices overlooking College Green and employs around 80 people, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Laura said: “We are a business which operates in a national and an international market who happens to be based in Bristol.

“I am really proud that we set up a small independent company 25 years ago and we are still going strong today.

“It is a really tough business and you have to be able to look after yourself but we are still here and we are the verge of expanding.”

She added: “I have always thought it is really important for a business to be rooted in the place where it is based.

“It is important to have links with the community not just for the business but for the people who work for it is as well.”

The company is in the middle of expanding onto a second floor and Laura says that there is plenty of broadcasters showing interest in their ideas and programmes.

Laura said: “We have just reached the end of our business plan and we are now looking ahead to the next three or four years.

“What we are looking to do is to increase the diversity of what we d and break into new areas. We have built up a strong reputation and a strong brand.

“In the field that we work in reputation is extremely important. It is all about being able to deliver on your promises.

“It also important that the people who work for us know that they can place our trust in them. We are often asking a lot of people and they want to know that we will support and back them.”

This article first appeared in Bristol Post 29th September 2014 

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