Earlier this week the Minister for Culture and the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, attended the launch of the Creative City initiative in Birmingham. The scheme is the brainchild of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and is particularly interesting as it is one of the first LEPs to announce its ambitions for the creative industries. (A good source of information about LEPs is Lorna Gibbons' blog on the subject.)
The initiative has three main goals:
- Creating a fund to build on existing public sector funding of the arts through loans, grants, match-funding and investments. The allocation of funds will be based on the potential for job creation and economic growth.
- Outlining the vision for a new ‘museum quarter’, including a new museum of photography and the development of a new contemporary art gallery.
- Exploring ways to unlock private sector and philanthropic support for culture, linking cultural development to wider economic growth.
BOP has been fortunate enough to work on a numberr of projects in Birmingham in recent years. They include a report on the social and economic benefits of the new Library of Birmingham, and a report in 2009/10 on the city's creative sector – Why the Creative Industries Matter to Birmingham – which can be accessed here (top item). Figures from that report were quoted in the launch's publicity material.
A video about the Creative City initiative can be seen below:BOP Consulting