Investment for Creative Industries Clusters in Leeds and York

Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Linda Bestwick

Nine Creative Industries clusters across eight UK cities, including York and Leeds, will bring creative hubs together with researchers and businesses to boost their world-leading status.

Aardman, Burberry, Sony and the British Fashion Company are some of the brands involved in the Programme Developing the Clusters, which is a key deliverable in the Industrial Strategy’s Creative Industries Sector Deal

Some of the UK’s best performing and world-renowned creative businesses are to come together with researchers and organisations to explore new ways of enhancing their sectors. They aim to increase the use of digital technologies to improve audience experience in the screen and performance industries, and shorten production times in the design industry.

Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council within UKRI, the £80 million programme comprises nine creative clusters across the UK and a new Policy and Evidence Centre, led by Nesta in partnership with 10 universities. The aim is to create jobs and drive the creation of companies, products and experiences that can be marketed around the world.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The creative industries are a fantastic British success story creating millions of jobs and business opportunities across the country. The sector currently contributes £92 billion a year to our economy and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are investing further to enable the sector to keep on growing and bringing the benefits to all corners of the United Kingdom.”

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse and the Creative Clusters will ensure they continue to thrive in different regions across the country.

“These partnerships between business, academia and industry will encourage the use of future technology to develop new products and experiences, and boost employment opportunities across the breadth of the UK.”

Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: “Combining world-class arts and humanities researchers with our globally renowned creative industries will underpin growth in this vibrant and rapidly expanding sector within the UK economy.

“These pioneering partnerships between industry and universities are providing a huge vote of confidence for a sector that is vital to the future prosperity of the UK.”

The clusters in our region involve:

  • Future Fashion Factory – Transforming the fashion industry’s capacity for creative innovation and reducing lead times and waste by embracing digital technologies in the design process. Led by: University of Leeds with other institutions and commercial partners including the Royal College of Arts, Burberry, Wools of New Zealand, Wooltex UK and the British Fashion Council.
  • Creative Media Labs – Establishing the screen industries of Yorkshire and the Humber as a centre of excellence in immersive and interactive storytelling. Led by: University of York with other institutions and commercial partners including Screen Yorkshire, New Moon Studios, BT, Sony, BFI, Duck Soup, Warp Films, Game Republic and the BBC.