Nesta map identifies UK creative hotspots

November 30th, 2010
A map of British creativity produced by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts has identified nine creative hotspots aside from London.

The Nesta research pinpoints Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Guildford, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford and Wycombe and Slough as creative hotspots outside of the capital.

The map (at and the accompanying Creative Clusters and Innovation report uses the Department of Culture, Media and Sport definition of the creative industries, which includes advertising, architecture and designer fashion but does not include design as a sub-sector.

The map has been created using information for the Office for National Statistics’ Interdepartmental Business Register and Annual Business Inquiry. Using an interactive tool, this has been turned into a map that allows users to see where creative businesses cluster together.

The report also shows that creative businesses tend to cluster in the same areas as other innovative businesses such as high-tech manufacturing and knowledge-intensive business services. It suggests that while cities in the South tend to have more diversified creative specialisations, cities in the Midlands and the North (with the exception of Manchester) have similar creative profiles.

The report recommends that policymakers should attempt to build on existing creative clusters rather than creating new ones from scratch, remove barriers to collaboration between cluster businesses and encourage universities to do more to promote innovation in technology-intensive creative industries.

Stian Westlake, head of policy and research at Nesta, says, ‘Britain is a world-beater in the creative industries and this mapping shows the centres of excellence we have across the country. With the right policy interventions, such as the East London Tech City initiative, these creative clusters have the potential to become global hubs for high-growth, innovative creative industries and create wider economic growth.’

Article from Design Week. Mon, 29 Nov 2010 | By Angus Montgomery