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The Bazalgette challenge

Time for cities and regions to seize new opportunities

Last week, an independent review, led by the Chair of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette, reported to government with recommendations for how the creative industries can underpin the UK’s future economic growth.

With Bazalgette noting that the creative industries are growing at three times the rate of the rest of the economy, such that they’ll create a million new jobs by 2030, The Independent Review of the Creative Industries heralds significant additional government support to further back this success.

Bazalgette’s central recommendation is for the UK to build up its regional creative clusters, aligned with other recent strategies. He calls for a £500m fund to be awarded over five years to key creative clusters, with local strategies based on distinctive strengths and emerging networks — between creative enterprises, local authorities, higher education, local enterprise partnerships and property businesses.

We see our recently published Creative Industries Toolkit assisting localities in seizing these opportunities. Released earlier this month and produced in collaboration with the Creative Industries Council, the Knowledge Transfer Network, and Creative England, this Toolkit provides new guidance for how U.K. cities and regions can nurture their own creative industries.

Having reviewed the performance of the creative industries across the UK in putting this Toolkit together, we share in Bazalgette’s optimism about the growth potential of these industries. But it is vital that localities correctly identify their particular strengths, bringing together the right people and position themselves if they are to take up the Bazalgette challenge.