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Press Release: ‘Creative Corridors’ can be the key to the UK’s creative industries’ ambitions

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Today (Saturday 16 September), three major institutions announce a joint agreement to work together to determine the skills, policies and investment required to achieve sustained growth in the creative sector.

Arts Council England, the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (Creative PEC) and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) will work together to set out ways that the UK’s creative industries could achieve the government’s target to contribute £50bn and a million new jobs to the UK economy by 2030.

The ‘Connecting Creative Corridors’ enquiry will bring together national and regional players and draw on evidence and international case studies for the first time. It will report back in March 2024.

Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA said: “There is a huge amount of energy in the clusters of creative communities spread across all four corners of the UK. This exciting new collaboration between the RSA, Creative PEC and Arts Council England seeks to unlock that potential, growing jobs and economies; skills and wellbeing; communities and regions. This collaborative approach will explore in detail how the UK’s vibrant and enriching creative corridors can significantly support people, communities, and local economies for the long term.”

The RSA, Creative PEC and Arts Council England want to explore the benefits of connecting people and businesses already contributing to the UK’s creative industries in one location, with similar activity clustered elsewhere. This approach creates a network that is sometimes called a ‘creative corridor’.

Our enquiry will explore themes around skills, innovation, finance and arts, culture, and heritage to demonstrate how creative corridors can provide the greatest benefits to every part of the network.

Professor Hasan Bakhshi, Director of the Creative PEC said: “Our previous research has shown that the creative industries are amongst the most geographically unequal sectors in the UK economy. But we have also found that individual clusters and micro clusters of creative activity can be found right across the nation. This raises the question of how these fragmented, creative clusters can join-up to create an economic force that can compete with the world’s great creative cities.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “There’s growing evidence to show that the presence of organisations and individuals who work across the creative and cultural industries sparks new life into towns and cities; building skills, creating new jobs, growing local economies, and improving the lives of the people who live, work and study in these places. This new programme will build on what we’ve learned so far and identify ways of speeding up that growth and reaping the economic benefits.”

The partnership will prototype a creative corridor model in the North of England. Over the next nine months, this will function as a model to learn from, test assumptions, and build practical knowledge that will further demonstrate the potential of the approach to national and regional stakeholders and policy makers. Further announcements on the scope of this project will be announced in the coming weeks.


Press enquiries:

Steven George, RSA / 07539164695
Georgia O’Connor,
Alice Kent + Anna Zabow, Creative PEC


About the RSA We are the RSA. The royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce. Where world-leading ideas are turned into world-changing actions. We’re committed to a world that is resilient, rebalanced, and regenerative, where everyone can fulfil their potential. The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years. Our proven change process, rigorous research, innovate ideas platforms and unique global network of changemakers, work collectively to enable people, places, and the planet to flourish in harmony. We invite you to be part of this change. Join our community. Together, we’ll unite people and ideas in collective action to create opportunities to regenerate our world.

About Arts Council England Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. From 2023 to 2026 we will invest over £467 million of public money from Government and an estimated £250 million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

About the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (Creative PEC) We exist to provide independent policy and evidence to support the inclusive and sustainable growth of the UK’s creative industries. The Creative PEC is led by Newcastle University with the Royal Society of Arts and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). For more information, visit and @CreativePEC

Photo by David Jones on Unsplash

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