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Creative Industries

Driving creativity, innovation and growth across all industrial sectors

The creative economy is currently worth £4.1bn GVA and accounts for 50,000 jobs across the GBSLEP geography. Substantial emerging growth potential has been identified within Film & TV, Games, Serious Games, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and web based services. The sector is underpinned by existing strengths in Advertising & Marketing with Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter being recognised as a world-leading centre. In addition, creative innovation and creative skills, such as design, are an enabler of innovation and growth across all sectors.

A recent mapping study, along with regional statistics, underscores these sector strengths and the many growth opportunities.

To realise the potential, GBSLEP has been working with industry and sector intermediaries on a creative sector delivery plan. Publishing shortly, highlights include:

  • Launch a Creative Industry Led Cross-Sectoral Innovation Programme
  • Invest in our creative industry infrastructure to make it world class (eg. studios)
  • Invest in the diversity, talent and skills of our existing and aspiring creative workers
  • Launch Specialist Creative Sector Business Support focused on IP, scale-up and internationalisation
  • Strengthen Creative Clusters, cross-regional working and promotion

GBSLEP are leading on and aligning their actions with the West Midlands Creative industries Local Industrial Strategy.

GBSLEP is also developing a Place Delivery Plan, which will include cultural actions.

Business support for the sector can be found via our Growth Hub. Plans are underway to create a more specialist support pathway for this sector within the Growth Hub later in 2019.

For further information on our many actions around the creative sector do contact us.

Sector Champions

Our Sector Champion for Creative & Digital is Anita Bhalla, Chair Performances Birmingham Ltd (Symphony Hall & Town Hall)

Anita has had an extensive broadcasting career twenty six years of which have been with the BBC. Her media career has been varied; from being a Correspondent, making radio and TV network documentaries to developing the Asian Network. She has been Editor Newsgathering, Managing Editor of one of the regions local radio stations and Head of Political and Community Affairs for England and Head of Public Space Broadcasting when she led the Big Screens project for the BBC pre and during the Olympics. She was President of Circom a European wide group of public service broadcasters.

In the past she has worked as a Community Relations Officer and a lecturer.

Anita has maintained a strong commitment to public service and her portfolio in this area ranges from being a member of the Independent Commission on Social Justice to chair of Governors of a Junior and Infant School, Governor of Birmingham City University and Chancellor and Trustee of the Children’s University.

Her interest in the Arts includes being chair of the Midlands Arts Centre, during which time the centre had a £15.8m redevelopment. She is Chair of the Creative City Partnership for the Birmingham and Solihull LEP. Anita is also Trustee of the Symphony Hall and Town Hall in Birmingham and a Trustee of the Children’s University.

Anita has extensive experience of governance, chairing, board membership and of partnership work. She has won several awards including the CRE’s Race in the Media Award when she won the national Television News Award. In 2009 she was awarded an OBE for her services to Broadcasting and Communities.

Digital & Tech

Our Sector Champion for Digital & Tech is Dr David Hardman MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Birmingham

Moving to Birmingham in 2008 to develop and implement a strategy that would build on the legacy of the third oldest science park in the UK, David Hardman has successfully transformed Aston Science Park into Innovation Birmingham Campus; the region’s leading location for digital and tech companies.

With over 20 years’ experience in knowledge transfer, David Hardman has been working at the interface between applied research and commercial application and exploitation. His expertise and experience has successfully encouraged the creation of appropriate partnerships and infrastructures to promote the development of knowledge-based businesses across a range of sectors including life sciences and, in Birmingham, digital technologies.