Westminster Media Forum

Next steps for creative clusters across the UK - investment priorities, partnerships and supporting local growth

Morning, Tuesday, 19th February 2019

Central London


This timely seminar focuses on next steps for the development of creative clusters across the UK.

Delegates will assess progress on delivering the key commitments in the Creative Industries Sector Deal aimed at narrowing the gap between London, the South East and other regions - in the context of the Cultural Development Fund and the Creative Industries Clusters Programme - as well as what further action might be needed.

They will assess investment priorities, and how they might need to evolve to support the sector UK-wide into the future, including outside cities.

The agenda examines key issues around the development of the talent pipeline to serve the needs of the clusters - and opportunities for collaborative working between businesses, the education sector and government to attract and retain talent, and better identify local skills gaps and employer demand.

Those attending will also consider priorities for supporting entrepreneurship in start-ups and SMEs - including around funding, investment, IP management and scaling-up - and discuss how to ensure that creative clusters provide environments that create opportunities for growth. 

The agenda will bring out thinking on addressing the practical challenges for delivering creative clusters and their role in addressing regional imbalances and their potential impact on innovation, engaging audiences and enabling businesses across the UK to compete globally - looking at the relationship between the public and private sector, the role of anchor institutions, and the sharing of infrastructure, R&D and data.  

Further sessions will discuss the role of creative clusters in addressing regional imbalances and stimulate local growth - and their potential impact on innovation, engaging audiences and enabling businesses across the UK to compete globally. We expect discussion on how the sector might work with others in local areas to embed the creative industries in placemaking, as well as examine key challenges around developing a ‘place-based’ approach, including leadership, regional differences, and investment disparities.


Keynote Speakers

John McVay

Chief Executive Officer, Pact and Member, Creative Industries Council

Senior speaker confirmed from Channel 4

John Newbigin

Co - Chair, Regions & Clusters Working Group, Creative Industries Council and Chairman, Advisory Group for Arts and Creative Economy, British Council


Sarah Windrum

Chief Executive Officer, The Emerald Group and Chair, Digital and Creative Business Group, CWLEP

Chris Murray

Director, Core Cities UK

Professsor Jonathan Dovey

Director, Research & Enterprise for Arts and Creative Technologies, University of the West of England

Professor Eric Cross

Professor of Music and Culture, Newcastle University and Principal Investigator, Creative Fuse North East

Kate Kennally

Chief Executive, Cornwall Council