Monday, 25 February 2008

Creative Britain - Some West Midlands highlights

Creative Britain is the culmination of the government's lengthy consultation on the Creative Economy programme. For my West Midlands readers I thought it might be useful to summarise what's in it for us:

  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company are named as two of the organisations committed to providing some of the planned 5,000 formal apprenticeships a year by 2013.
  • Under 'commitment 5' ("We will encourage employers and skills providers to set up ground-breaking new innovative places of learning") the recently announced Eastside Arts Academy gets a mention as does Birmingham City University's newly acquired Skillset Media Academy status.
  • There's mention of a 'Birmingham International Film Festival' (it must mean this) as something which will be better linked in to London's creative festivals and other key events around the country (Animex being the only other one explicitly mentioned)
  • Digital Central gets name-checked (as do other initiatives in the South East and South West) as an useful example of a sub-regional innovation network ("these networks are particularly important at regional and sub-regional level in the fast moving world of new media")
  • The West Midlands is one of five regions that will establish a 'regional beacon' for the Creative Industries. Their job will be:
    - raising awareness to ensure that the sector knows what is available and how to access it
    - forging links with specialised providers and mentors
    - developing and disseminating best practice in meeting the needs of the sector
    - assessing the effectiveness of support for the creative industries by collecting and analysing data
  • The document has an emphasis on investment rather than support and with that there's specific acknowledgement of the good work done by the Advantage Creative Fund.

I plan to post I've now posted a digest of the whole document. On the whole there's not an awful lot in here that we didn't already know about. This gives some initiatives a bit of a government rubber stamp I guess.

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