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Warrington, Slough and Bognor Regis 'have become hotspots of creativity'

Published 26/07/2016

Creative jobs such as those in advertising, film, radio, and TV are becoming more common in Basingstoke, Wigan and Heathrow
Creative jobs such as those in advertising, film, radio, and TV are becoming more common in Basingstoke, Wigan and Heathrow

Slough, Heathrow, Basingstoke, Warrington and Wigan are becoming some of the UK's top creative hubs , according to research.

Manchester, Brighton and Bristol are more historically known as "creative cities", but a number of "creative conurbations" are on the rise.

These clusters of creative businesses and employment - which include jobs in advertising, film, radio, television, architecture and publishing - can be found along motorway corridors and close to major transport centres.

Other areas with a high concentration and growth in the creative industries include Chichester and Bognor Regis, according to research from Creative England and innovation charity Nesta.

Juan Mateos-Garcia, head of innovation mapping at Nesta, said: "The UK's geography of creativity is diverse and growing. London and other creative cities are very important, but so are other areas which are sometimes overlooked when we talk about creative clusters.

"A better understanding of their specialism and impact on the local economy will help ensure that these hotspots continue to gain access to the talent and knowledge they need to thrive."

The research shows that three-quarters of all creative businesses in the UK are gathered in just 47 clusters.

London employs 40% of all the UK's creative industry workers, with seven of the largest creative clusters in the South of England, according to the Geography of Creativity in the UK report.

One in five clusters are in the North of England, while across the rest of the UK there are clusters identified in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff.

The clusters surveyed now employ on average 28% more creative workers than seven years ago - b ut although the number of businesses within the clusters has grown, the average size of these businesses has fallen.

Caroline Norbury, chief executive at Creative England, said the report "shows the power of the creative industries to drive jobs and prosperity".

Introducing the report, she said: "There is no room for complacency and much more to be done. We must work harder to spread the benefits of London's power as a global creative hub across the rest of the UK.

"W e must do more to give our creative talent the opportunities and backing they need to flourish, innovate and grow wherever they come from."

Researchers looked for geographic hotspots of activity among similar creative businesses, using data from a number of organisations including the Office for National Statistics.

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