Place Matters Report Sees Most LEPs In England Prioritising Creative Industries

A report commissioned by industry members of the Creative Industries Council (CIC) from Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy has analysed how local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England treat supporting the creative industries as a priority.

To boost the growth of place-based creative industries which impact on the local and national economy as well as on the vibrancy of places, the document says the following might be considered:

Adopt a two-lane approach: Invest in proven success and unlock the potential of the established clusters alongside support for micro-clusters and smaller towns and rural areas with emerging strengths.

Build and strengthen place-based networks and networks which connect places (e.g. at a sub-regional level or for similar types of place, such as major cities or coastal towns) – to facilitate knowledge exchange, encourage aggregation and boost the confidence of smaller places and rural areas which are relatively new to creative industries development.

Champion a renaissance on creative education and skills. While there is nationwide recognition of the need to foster a stronger and more diverse creative industries talent pipeline, the current system is too piecemeal with local authorities often lacking the levers required to make significant impact.

Enhance data and evidence. Many local authorities have commissioned their own baseline research and creative industries strategies. These have played an important role in building an evidence-based approach, enhancing partnership and lifting confidence. Yet the methodologies significantly vary and local baseline data is rarely connected to other local baseline studies, limiting opportunities for benchmarking and the co-identification of priorities and actions.

Position arts and culture as foundational to creative Industries innovation and growth. ‘Whole place’ approaches which strengthen the strategic alignment between arts, culture and the creative industries are increasingly important. This includes the use of heritage buildings and other heritage assets for contemporary cultural and creative production. Arts and culture provide the talent and innovation for much of the creative industries and it is clear local authorities understand this in the ways they are applying for funding.

Support a place-based ‘quadruple helix’. Existing creative industries clusters thrive on a quadruple helix of universities, enterprise, civil society and community working together to boost innovation. The greater the inter-dependence of these actors, the stronger the creative cluster. Across England, opportunities exist to strengthen and coordinate quadruple helix activities to put culture and the creative industries to the heart of civic renewal; and to connect smaller places to these centres of scale and innovation.

Connect place-based approaches to international opportunities. More consideration can be given to support the internationalisation of place-based approaches. London thrives as a global creative city and this potential extends to cities across England. Many creative firms today are born global, trading as part of international value chains and collaborating across both national borders and sectoral boundaries. By nurturing excellence and innovation in place-based creative industries activity, the UK’s international standing and trade will benefit.

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