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Creative clusters and innovation report

This report attempts to map the UK’s creative clusters and makes a case for a new approach to local economic policy.

This report attempts to map the UK’s creative clusters and makes a case for a new approach to local economic policy.

Key findings:

  • London is the heart of the creative industries in Britain, but the research showed nine other creative hotspots across Britain.
  • Certain creative industries tend to co-locate. There is also some co-location between creative sectors and other innovative industries.
  • The creative industries are more innovative than many other high-innovation sectors.
  • Policy recommendations include: catalyse latent clusters rather than try to build new ones from scratch; think about which sectors work well together; and help remove barriers to collaboration.

No one doubts the economic importance of the creative industries to the UK. At 6.2 per cent of the economy, and growing at twice the rate of other sectors, they are proportionately the largest of any in the world.

But there is some evidence that the UK’s creative industries support innovation and growth in other parts of the economy too. The significance of these spillovers has only recently begun to be examined rigorously. And we know next to nothing about their geographical dimensions.

This gap in our understanding is what Nesta set out to address in Creative Clusters and Innovation, the outcome of a two-year collaboration with Birmingham and Cardiff Universities.

The study adopts the concept of creative clusters as a starting point to examine the role that creative industries play in local and regional innovation systems. Its publication accompanies an online platform we have developed for users to examine creative industry concentrations at a fine level of detail in their localities.

Authors:
Caroline Chapain, Phil Cooke, Lisa De Propris, Stewart MacNeill and Juan Mateos-Garcia

Authors

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Director of Innovation Mapping

Juan leads a team of data scientists, developers, visualisers and innovation experts who use new datasets, analytics methods and visualisation tools to inform innovation policy.

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