Major new research investment set to provide boost for UK’s Creative Industries

Nine Creative Industries clusters across eight UK cities will bring creative hubs together with researchers and businesses

Creative Industries

Creative Industries Clusters in Bristol, Leeds, London, York, Cardiff, Belfast, Dundee and Edinburgh will bring together creative hubs with researchers and businesses to boost their world-leading status.

Aardman, Burberry, Sony and the British Fashion Company are some of the brands involved in the Programme Developing the Clusters is a key deliverable in the Industrial Strategy’s Creative Industries Sector Deal

Some of the UK’s best performing and world-renowned creative businesses are to come together with researchers and organisations to explore new ways of enhancing their sectors. They aim to increase the use of digital technologies to improve audience experience in the screen and performance industries, and shorten production times in the design industry.

Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council within UKRI, the £80 million programme comprises nine creative clusters across the UK and a new Policy and Evidence Centre, led by Nesta in partnership with 13 universities. The programme will bring together world-class research talent with companies and organisations, including household names such as Aardman, Burberry and Sony, in a first-of-its kind research and development investment.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

"The creative industries are a fantastic British success story creating millions of jobs and business opportunities across the country. The sector currently contributes £92 billion a year to our economy and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are investing further to enable the sector to keep on growing and bringing the benefits to all corners of the United Kingdom."

This investment, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and industry, offers support to the UK’s globally important creative industries, which are already worth over £92 billion to the UK economy and export an estimated £46 billion in goods and services each year. The aim is to create jobs and drive the creation of companies, products and experiences that can be marketed around the world.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said:

"Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse and the Creative Clusters will ensure they continue to thrive in different regions across the country.

"These partnerships between business, academia and industry will encourage the use of future technology to develop new products and experiences, and boost employment opportunities across the breadth of the UK."

Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said:

"Combining world-class arts and humanities researchers with our globally renowned creative industries will underpin growth in this vibrant and rapidly expanding sector within the UK economy.

"These pioneering partnerships between industry and universities are providing a huge vote of confidence for a sector that is vital to the future prosperity of the UK."

A new Policy and Evidence Centre has also been established that will address gaps in the evidence base on the national economic strength of the UK’s creative industries. Led by global innovation foundation Nesta, it will develop independent evidence that will inform decision-making across the creative industries and underpin future policy decisions.

Hasan Bakhshi, Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, said:

"The UK’s creative industries have had a stellar growth performance in recent years, but to navigate the economic uncertainties ahead they will need rigorous evidence. This is where the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre will step in, producing research and formulating policies to support the sector’s future growth."

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