Creative Cardiff: a model for creative collaboration

Creative Cardiff: a model for creative collaboration

Success story by Cardiff University

 

Creative Cardiff Show TellThe creative economy is increasingly recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors, generating well-paid and sought-after employment while having a tangible impact on quality of life.

While Cardiff has considerable strengths in the creative economy – Nesta identifying the city as a hub for creative activity across Wales – it has historically underperformed, and, unlike other cities, was never more than the sum of its parts.

The Creative Economy Unit at Cardiff University was constituted to address this. Evidence gathered by the unit suggested that the development of strong, well curated networks is key to the development of successful creative clusters. It was also clear that leadership in this area was lacking in South Wales.

The Creative Economy Unit began by developing networks of researchers within the University – currently around 250 members from different disciplines. This includes a range of knowledge exchange activities around creative hubs and coworking spaces, Swn Music Festival and embedded creatives. Then, in late 2015, it established the Creative Cardiff network, in order to better understand, engage and enable the creative economy in the city.

The network now has more than 2500 members – including a mix of SMEs, micro-businesses, companies, organisations and freelancers – and has hosted 45 events, attended by thousands of creative practitioners.

The network now has more than 2500 members – including a mix of SMEs, micro-businesses, companies, organisations and freelancers – and has hosted 45 events, attended by thousands of creative practitioners.

In three years, Creative Cardiff has established itself as an award-winning, dynamic part of the city’s creative sector, bring the creative community together to provide a catalyst for creative innovation, a voice for the creative sector and an evidence base for the development of policy (e.g. mapping of the creative economy in the Cardiff City Region).

The development of Creative Cardiff as an outward looking research and innovation network made it possible to lead a successful bid for Industrial Strategy funding, through the highly competitive AHRC’s Creative Industries Cluster Programme. The bid – Clwstwr – built on Creative Cardiff’s work to date and was led by the core Creative Cardiff team. It involved the establishment of over 50 partnerships with Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, a diverse range of creative companies across the screen sector and Wales’ national companies, creative tech companies, creative hubs and strategic organisations (such as Arts Council Wales and Ffilm Cymru). This is the largest AHRC grant the University has ever received, and it places Creative Cardiff at the heart of creative industry innovation and R&D in the Cardiff City Region and beyond.

 

Published: 30 July 2019

 

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