The Geography of Creativity in the UK

Creative clusters, creative people, creative networks

Hasan Bakhshi and Juan Mateos-Garcia

Medium 3538

From the report's website summary:

"In this report, in partnership with Creative England, we have used the latest data and official definitions to map the creative industries in the UK. Our goal is to provide a data resource to demonstrate the economic significance of the creative industries across the country, and inform policies to strengthen them further.


The creative industries are becoming more important in local economies across the UK. Between 2007 and 2014 they became more important in local business population in 9 out of every 10 locations.

We have identified 47 creative clusters across the UK. London and the South East are important components of the UK creative industries, but so are the North, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These clusters grew their creative employment by 28% between 2007 and 2014

The UK’s geography of creativity isn’t only about ‘hip creative cities’. We have also identified clusters in creative conurbations across the country.

Creative communities in different parts of the country are working together across cluster and administrative boundaries. The geography of the UK creative industries is an interconnected system.

Policy recommendations

Support the development of clusters outside of London and the South East

Continue efforts to share the benefits of London’s status as a global creative industries hub across the UK

Local Enterprise Partnerships and universities should consider what more they can do to address the strengths and weaknesses within their particular area, such as an over reliance on large firms or growing links between graduate talent pools and creative clusters

Networks of UK creative industries should strive to maintain their global reach."