Bazalgette supports ‘Creative Clusters’ beyond London in new report 6/10/2017

The government has published the review it commissioned from Sir Peter Bazalgette on the future of the Creative Industries. Bazalgette, now Chair at ITV, says he concentrated on areas where government and the sector could work together, and where there is a ‘clear case for action to address…barriers to growth’.  Creative industries are outperforming other sectors, showing a growth of 300,000 jobs in four years from 2011 – 2015. They are highly resistant to automation with 87% of jobs likely to be safe, and work expected to continue expanding in the sector. Issues that Bazalgette says need to be addressed include:  

  • Direct investment in creative industries R&D is too low – and at the moment although R&D occurs, it is not fully formed or recognised.
  • Overall the UK has a respected IP framework, but more can be done through data transparency to ‘realise the value of intangible IP’.
  • There are many micro enterprises in the creative industries, which lack access to finance.
  • There should be more direct investment in virtual and augmented reality, including extending the UK Games Fund.
  • The Creative Industries should establish a new, bespoke International Trade Board in partnership with the Department for International Trade.


He says the results of a successful plan would include:  

  • A national spread of creative industries jobs across the country, narrowing the gap between the South East and other regions.
  • One million new creative jobs by 2030 and a more diverse workforce, more representative of UK society.
  • Sustained growth of 3.9% year on year leading to a GVA (Gross Value Added) of £128.4bn by 2025.

  The government said it is now considering the report, but it has already led to an £80m competition to create ‘Creative Clusters’, managed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Professor Andrew Chitty of AHRC commented “Baz’s most striking conclusion is that the UK needs to recognise that creative businesses thrive and grow where they’re thick on the ground and can share ideas.” The competition will be for Research and Development (R&D) partnerships to drive innovation in eight clusters across the UK. Each winning R&D partnership will receive £6 - £9m towards economic development. The report points to Wakefield as an example of good practice, where a hive of music studios, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Hepworth Wakefield create a core of creativity, which is easier to build from than ‘brand new clusters in cold spots’. (press release), AHRC, (report) (Culture Secretary’s speech), Museums Journal