Investment in a creative future: opportunities for cultural and creative industries from a new Sector Deal

The Sector Deal for the cultural and creative industries will help to unlock more than £150 million of investment opportunities across the entire sector. The Deal reinforces Regeneris evaluation evidence from Hull’s 2017 City of Culture which demonstrated the significant potential of the cultural and creative sectors to support growth in the UK economy. 

The Deal includes funding for: 

  • Places of the future: to support leading geographic clusters of creative companies to compete globally. 
  • Technologies and content of the future: for research into augmented and virtual reality. 
  • Creative skills of the future: a careers programme that will open creative jobs up to people from diverse backgrounds. 

The Sector Deal has unlocked significant funding opportunities for LEPs, universities, towns and cities to access: 

  • Cultural Development Fund: a £20m fund to be invested over the next two years in areas where culture can help local areas to unlock growth, investment and jobs. 
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Programme: a £64m investment to deliver eight partnerships between universities and creative businesses across the UK. 

The additional funding for the cultural and creative industries is welcome. Regeneris is already supporting organisations across the UK, including local authorities, LEPs and universities to access funding. Our experience has shown there are several important considerations to successfully secure investment : 

  • A clear and insightful understanding of current activity, unique strengths and barriers to growth. A compelling bid starts from a detailed understanding of the nature of creative industries in your area, the key growth challenges and opportunities they face. Activities within the creative industries can be notoriously difficult to define as they tend to cut across many sectors of the economy, so it is essential to ensure all activity within the sector is captured.  In our mapping work we build on the widely used DCMS definition to produce a bespoke definition.   
  • A robust strategic case. Highlighting the links between your proposals and local, regional and national priorities will strengthen your case. This should draw on local sector plans, your LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan and emerging local industrial strategy (LIS) work, to illustrate how your proposals are part of a coordinated programme of activity to develop activity within the creative sector. 
  • A collaborative and partnership-based approach.  Successful bids tend to come from partnerships between creative sector organisations and local anchor institutions. Build on existing partnerships where possible and be clear about the complementary roles of partners.   
  • Ability to deliver.  With many locations competing for limited resources, it will be important to demonstrate why your area should get funding over others. Demonstrating your ability to deliver and provide robust impact-based evidence from past investments in these sectors will show you have the capacity to deliver genuine economic outcomes. 
  • Clear plan of action. Build an understanding of what tools you have at your disposal to support the creative industries. Our recent work with a number of London boroughs identified several important factors which influence sector growth (below). 

The Creative Industries Sector Deal provides an excellent opportunity to unlock growth for cultural and creative businesses, and contribute towards creating ‘good jobs, greater earning power for all and prosperous communities across the UK’. Organisations need to understand what their creative-based economy currently looks like, and what tools they have at their disposal to enhance growth locally. 

Regeneris has extensive experience of working across the entire spectrum of cultural and creative industries. Our team  frequently undertakes sector analysis, social and economic impacts and strategy work. To support the opportunities arising from the Creative Industries Sector Deal or for more information about our work please contact Stuart Wells or Stuart Merali-Younger. 


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